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Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Photo: leader.ir/Anadolu 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.


Go deeper:

Go deeper

49 mins ago - Health

J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals

Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said Monday that he is "absolutely" confident that the company will be able to meet its distribution goals, which include 100 million doses by June and up to a billion by the end of 2021.

Driving the news: J&J is already in the process of shipping 3.9 million doses this week, just days after the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the one-shot vaccine. Gorsky said he expects vaccines to be administered to Americans "literally within the next 24 to 48 hours."

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Clash of the central bankers

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Bloomberg, Samuel Corum (Stringer)/Getty Images

While Fed chair Jerome Powell is brushing off the seismic rise in government bond yields and a corresponding decline in stock prices, a group of central bankers in the Pacific are starting to take action.

Driving the news: Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda told parliament on Friday the BOJ would not allow yields on government debt to continue rising further above the BOJ's 0% target.

Biden expresses support for Amazon workers' union vote in Alabama

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Biden expressed support for a union vote by Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama in a two-minute video posted on Twitter Sunday, though he did not name the tech giant specifically.

Why it matters: A vote by workers at the Bessemer, Ala., warehouse to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union would make the facility the first Amazon warehouse to unionize in the U.S., per NPR. The election will run through March 29.

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