Iran: Arrests in Tehran after protests over price hikes

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The "Free Iran" account on Twitter said Basij forces attacked protesters in Mashhad on Thursday, while the official version stated that several protesters had been arrested.

Protests erupted in several Iranian cities on December 28, 2017, as citizens peacefully spoke out against the rising cost of living.

Thousands of Iranians took to the streets throughout the country on Thursday to protest against the deteriorating economic situation. Many Iranians now say they agree with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's repeated warnings the US can't be trusted.

Mashhad's Governor Mohammad Rahim Norouzian condemned the protesters for what he referred to as their "illegal" demonstration while praising the police for "showing extreme restraint" and arresting people "who wanted to destroy public property".

Fars said there were protests in the cities of Sari and Rasht in the north, Qazvin west of Tehran and Qom south of the capital, and also in Hamadan in western Iran.

However, he noted that a call for "No to high prices" protests had been circulated on the messaging app Telegram. The Revolutionary Guard, a hard-line paramilitary organization, has vast economic interests in the country.

Some footage in social media, showed police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse demonstrators, but it could not be verified.

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"Some people had come to express their demands, but suddenly, in a crowd of hundreds, a small group that did not exceed 50 shouted deviant and horrendous slogans such as "Let go of Palestine", "Not Gaza, not Lebanon, I'd give my life (only) for Iran", Alamolhoda said.

According to CHRI's investigations, social media users discussed the protests using the Farsi-language hashtag, "Mashhad".

According to Reuters, demonstrators also chanted "leave Syria, think about us", criticizing Iran's deployment of troops to support the Bashar Assad regime against the uprising that began in 2011.

"Those who are behind such events will burn their own fingers". Poultry is an important part of the diet of many of Iran's 80 million people, and previous price increases have caused political problems for its leaders in the years since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Rouhani's signature achievement, a deal in 2015 with world powers to curb Iran's nuclear program in return for lifting most worldwide sanctions, has yet to bring the broad economic benefits the government says are coming.

So has inflation, which Iran's Central Bank says has returned to 10 percent.

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