Nov 17, 2019 - World

Deadly Iran gasoline protests: Khamenei blames foreign enemies

Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei at a meeting in Tahran, Iran on July 14, 2014.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Photo: Agency/Getty Images

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei defended in a televised address Sunday gasoline price increases and rationing that have triggered deadly protests in the country, which he blamed on "foreign enemies," Reuters reports.

"The counter-revolution and Iran’s enemies have always supported sabotage and breaches of security and continue to do so. ... Unfortunately some problems were caused, a number of people lost their lives and some centers were destroyed."

The big picture: Demonstrations have been held this week across the country, which is crippled by U.S. sanctions, per AFP. One person died and several others were injured Friday in the city of Sirjan when protesters "tried to set a fuel depot ablaze but were thwarted by security forces."

  • Social media users reported several protesters died when "riot police and security forces clashed with demonstrators in Tehran and dozens of other cities" across Iran on Saturday, Reuters reports.

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