WORLD Two die in Iran protests against high cost of living


Two die in Iran protests against high cost of living

By Xu Wei | People's Daily app

18:13, December 31, 2017

Islamabad (People's Daily)- Two people were killed overnight in western Iran in anti-government protests, Iran's Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported on Sunday.

The announcement was made by Hbibollah Khojasteh Pour, deputy governor of Iran's Lorestan province.

Khojasteh Pour said that the two were killed in Dorood city following protests there.

He blamed foreign intelligence agencies for flaring up a peaceful gathering.

Over the past two days, anti-government protests erupted in some Iranian major cities and in a number of cases turned into violence and clashes between people and the police. 

The demonstrations began Thursday in the northeastern city of Mashhad before spreading to other cities.

Iranian media said price hikes triggered demonstrations earlier this week in a number of Iranian cities including the capital Tehran and Mashhad, with the participants demanding the administration of President Hassan Rouhani resolve economic woes.

It is reported that arrests were made at gatherings which were organized without permits from authorities. Local officials said those arrested were trying to damage public property and police exercised restraint in bringing the situation under control.

Iran's First Vice President Jahangiri highlighted the administration's economic achievements and ongoing efforts in that sphere, emphasizing the country's economy is all in all "on the right track" despite "certain shortcomings."


Iran's First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri (Photo by AFP)

The official added that "the prices of several commodities may have seen a rise due to some incidents and each case has its own reason," adding that the government is duty-bound to revise them, Press TV reported.

The vice president further warned that certain sides have used the economic issues as a "pretext" to harm the government, saying those behind such attempts should immediately be identified. 

He further called on all political groups in the country to join hands and help resolve the country's problems.

On Saturday, two days after an anti-government march, a mass pro-government march was held in Tehran.


Iranians pro-government march was held in the city of Rasht, December 30, 2017. (Photo by IRIB news agency)

The marchers were dressed in black and went to the streets to express their support for the Rouhani government. 

The Tasnim News Agency reported that following a series of rallies in Iranian cities in protest at difficult economic conditions, the administration's spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht unveiled plans to provide employment for more than 830,000 people in the next Iranian year.

According to the spokesman, the administration has allocated funds to next year's national budget to create jobs by investment in six major areas.

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