Tehran: Protesters in Iran raised anti-government slogans, over alleged corruption and rising prices that have plagued the people of the country in recent times.
The outbreak of unrest reflects the growing discontent over rising prices and alleged corruption by the government, as well as concern over the country’s costly involvement in regional conflicts such as Syria and Iraq, according to the Guardian.
Police dispersed anti-government demonstrators in Kermanshah of western Iran as the wave of protests spread to Tehran and several other cities.
About 300 demonstrators gathered in Kermanshah and shouted slogans such as- “Political prisoners should be freed” and “Freedom or death”. The protests in the city took place a day, after hundreds of people rallied in Iran’s second largest city, Mashhad, shouting anti-government slogans against high prices.
Mohsen Nasj Hamadani, the deputy security chief in Tehran province said, “About 50 people had rallied in a square in the capital, but that most had left after police asked them to do so. A few who refused were temporarily detained.”
A prominent conservative cleric named Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda had earlier called for tough action against the protests. Iran’s vice-president, Eshaq Jahangiri, who is close to the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, said that the suggested hardline conservative opponents of the president might have triggered the wave of protests.
“When a social and political movement is launched on the streets, those who started it will not necessarily be able to control it in the end. Those who are behind such events will burn their own fingers,” said Jahangiri.
The Iranian president’s biggest achievement, a deal with major world powers, including the United States (US) in 2015, that curbed the country’s disputed nuclear programme in return, for the lifting of most international sanctions, is yet to bring the broad economic benefits to the people, despite the government’s claims of bringing benefits to them.
Iran backs Syria’s embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, in his country’s civil war, the Shia militants in Iraq, the Houthi rebels in Yemen and Hezbollah group in Lebanon.