Dead in Iran protests, president blames 'interference' by foreign powers

03 January, 2018, 01:29 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • White House Urges World-Wide Support for Iran Protesters

Three other officers were wounded by gunfire from one of the protesters on the fifth consecutive day of demonstrations against President Rouhani's economic policy, the same source said.

Outwardly, Iran's government has had a mixed response to the unrest.

The demonstrations, the largest to strike the country since its disputed 2009 Presidential election, began on Thursday in Mashhad over economic issues and have since expanded to several cities.

"A rioter took advantage of the situation in the city of Najafabad and fired shots at police forces with a hunting rifle", Saeed Montazer al-Mahdi, a police spokesman, told the Iranian state broadcaster as cited by the news agency.

It was unclear whether the deaths, up from two over the weekend, were connected to the incidents at the police stations and military bases.

Protesters are have been calling for the removal of Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and chanting against the government.

Around 100 people were arrested overnight in the same region, Iranian state television reported.

Netanyahu saluted the "brave Iranians" who "are pouring into the streets".


Turkey on Tuesday said it was concerned by reports of people dying and public buildings being damaged. Rouhani finally broke his silence on Sunday night about the protests that mark the biggest test for the regime since the 2009 "Green Movement". He accused the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia of meddling in the country's internal affairs.

Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Mousa Ghazanfarabadi as saying: "Obviously one of their charges can be Moharebeh" - waging war against God - an offence which carries the death penalty in Iran. The firebrand Republican has not minced any words while criticising the Iran nuclear deal and has even refused to certify it, while dumping even more sanctions on the Islamic nation.

"I do not know whether yesterday's shooting was done by rally participants or the police and this issue is being investigated", Hedayatollah Khademi was quoted as saying. "They are hungry for food & for freedom".

Iran officials fired back, saying the country "does not pay attention to the opportunistic claims made by USA officials", Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, adding that Iranians could see through Trump's "hypocritical support" for the protests.

"I wish the Iranian people success in their noble quest for freedom".

Two demonstrators were killed during a protest in western Iran late Saturday.

According to Article 27 of the Iranian Constitution, "public gatherings and marches are allowed so long as the participants do not carry arms and are not in violation of the fundamental principles of Islam".

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also said in a statement that "after the confrontation of the past days it is all the more important for all sides to refrain from violent action".

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