Iran protests continue for a third day despite warnings

Jan 01, 2018, 00:51

"No shots were fired by the police and security forces". Iran's official news agency.

The Mehr news agency posted videos of protesters attacking a town hall in central Tehran, overturning a police vehicle, and burning the Iranian flag.

Hundreds of counter-protesters also massed outside the entrance to the university, chanting "Death to the seditionists" in a show of support for the regime.

Hadi Nili, a BBC reporter, has done an excellent job compiling videos from various Iranian cities highlighting the throngs of thousands of people joining the movement.

Iran's interior ministry called the protests "illegal gatherings", noting all groups wanting to gather must file an official request and get permission in advance.

At least 50 protesters have been arrested since Thursday, authorities said. That is why the mullahs "restrict internet access, tear down satellite dishes, shoot unarmed student protesters, and imprison political reformers".

While police have arrested some protesters, the country's powerful Revolutionary Guard and its affiliates have not intervened as they have in other unauthorized demonstrations since the 2009 election.

There is also anger at Iran's interventions overseas.

Trita Parsi, founder and president of the Washington, DC-based National Iranian American Council, said: "The fastest way to discredit these legitimate grievances expressed by the Iranian people, is for Trump to throw himself into the mix".

State TV also has reported that some protesters invoked the name of the US-backed shah, who fled into exile just before Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution and later died.

Trump finished with the provocative prediction that "oppressive regimes cannot endure forever" and that the day will come when Iran's people face a choice: "To continue down the path of poverty, bloodshed and terror" or "return to the nation's proud roots as a center of civilization, culture and wealth where their people can be happy and prosperous once again?" "The world is watching!"

"There are many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with the regime's corruption and its squandering of the nation's wealth to fund terrorism overseas", Sanders said. "America stands with the Iranian people".

Saturday's protests in the Iranian capital Tehran, as well as Trump's tweets about the protests, raised the stakes.

Iranian officials warned against dismissing the public anger seen in recent days.

The lifting of sanctions has improved Iran's economy, but few of those changes have yet to reach ordinary Iranians, who still struggle with limited opportunities, including high unemployment.

"People have the right for their voice to be heard". Despite pleas from the other signatories of the agreement, Trump decertified the deal in October, leaving it up to Congress to soon decide whether to scrap the deal or renegotiate it as his administration adopted a more militant strategy toward confronting Iran.

But low-level strikes and demonstrations have continued, with bus drivers, teachers and factory workers protesting against unpaid wages and poor conditions.

Anti-government protesters demonstrated on Sunday in defiance of a warning by the authorities of a tough crackdown, extending for a fourth day one of the most audacious challenges to the clerical leadership since pro-reform unrest in 2009. There are people who have lost their life savings.

Since taking power in 2013, Rouhani has sought to clean up the banking sector and kick-start the economy, but many say progress has been too slow.

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