Nov 17, 2019

Deadly Iran gasoline protests: Khamenei blames foreign enemies

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.


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106 killed in Iran protests, human rights group says

Iranians gather around a charred police station while they protest the increase in oil prices in Isfahan, Iran. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

At least 106 people have been killed in Iran since protests over increased oil prices began last week, according to human rights group Amnesty International, which says the true death toll could be far higher.

The big picture: Iran was much quicker to use violent measures this time than during previous protests. The Iranian government also shut down the internet to prevent social media from further mobilizing protesters, per CNN.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019

In mass arrests, Iran detains eight accused of CIA ties

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Hossein Salami at a pro-government demonstration on Nov. 25, 2019 in Tehran, Iran. Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Iran says it has arrested over 500 people in the aftermath of protests over gas prices, AFP reports, and the regime claimed on late Wednesday that eight of those detained are linked to the CIA.

The big picture: Iran cut Internet access for the vast majority of the country earlier this month after protests erupted on Nov. 15. Human rights group Freedom House told Axios' Joe Uchill that the blackout prevented global reporting on Iranian police abuses and stifled coordination between protestors.

Go deeperArrowNov 28, 2019

Unidentified gunmen kill at least 25 protesters in Baghdad

Photo: Sabah Arar/AFP/Getty Images

Iraqi officials raised the death toll to at least 25 after unidentified gunmen opened fire on protesters in Baghdad on Friday and into Saturday, AP reports.

Why it matters: The attack is the deadliest Baghdad has seen in weeks, occurring shortly after Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned as prime minister, per Al Jazeera. At least 130 others were wounded by gunshots and stabbings in this week's attack, AP notes.

Go deeperArrowDec 7, 2019