Iranians defy regime as wave of protest spreads

Marsha Scott
January 2, 2018

Officials said two people were killed when what were described as rioters seized a fire engine and then crashed into two other vehicles.

Iranian students clash with riot police during an anti-government protest around the University of Tehran, Iran, on December 30, 2017.

More than 400 people have been arrested across the country.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose administration struck the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, campaigned on freeing the men, though they remain detained.

The protests began Thursday in Mashhad over economic issues and have since expanded to several cities, with some protesters chanting against the government and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It also said the Iranian government would crack down on those who were spreading negative propaganda against the country.

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The two were killed in the southwestern city of Izeh, the area's local member of parliament, Hedayatollah Khademi said.

So far, security forces appear to have shown some restraint, in an apparent attempt to avoid escalating tensions.

In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, anti-riot Iranian police prevent university students to join other protesters over Iran weak economy, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017.

In his remarks Mr Rouhani acknowledged popular grievances, though he warned that the government would show "no tolerance for those who damage public properties, violate public order and create unrest in the society".

Foreign support can often be detrimental for protesters within Iran, as it routinely is used by the regime to undermine homegrown opposition demands.

Mass demonstrations - referred to as the Green Movement - were held by millions of opposition supporters against the disputed election victory of incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Also, three protesters were reportedly shot dead by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in central Iran on Sunday.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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