Iran Protests: From reasons why, death toll to US reaction, here is all you need to know

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New Delhi | Published: January 2, 2018 2:13:53 PM

Iran is reeling under widespread protests that started on Thursday (December 28) as a reaction to the sputtering economy, rampant corruption and rising fuel and food prices.

Iran witnesses wide-spread anti-government protests (Source: Reuters)

Iran is reeling under widespread protests that started on Thursday (December 28) as a reaction to the sputtering economy, rampant corruption and rising fuel and food prices. While some say economic woes are caused by Iran’s foreign policy, as the country is involved in regional conflicts, others say sanctions have ultimately hit people’s pockets. Within two days protests have spread from Masshad (second largest city of the country) to the capital Tehran and other major cities. Many videos of protest have surfaced on the social media showing the police clashing with protesters. Reports have now emerged of even police stations being attacked late on Monday night. With the anti-government chants and protests continuing till date, here are five points that explain the reasons behind the ongoing protests:

1. The largest public display of discontent in Iran since the 2009 Green Movement is rocking the nation, with state media reporting Tuesday that the death toll from clashes between demonstrators and security forces had reached at least 20.
2. The high rate of unemployment, corruption, and inflation has led people to revolt against the country’s incumbent regime.

3. The government has temporarily restricted access to the Telegram messaging app and Instagram. There were reports that internet mobile access was blocked in some areas. Hundreds of people have been arrested, as per the state media.
4. President Donald Trump, whose travel bans blocked Iranians from getting U.S. visas, reiterated his support for the protests Monday, tweeting that Iran was “failing at every level” and saying it was “TIME FOR CHANGE!”
5. Iran’s government acknowledged people’s concerns over the economy but warned demonstrators against disruptive behaviour. President Hassan Rouhani said protests were an “opportunity, not a threat” but vowed to crack down on “lawbreakers”, as per the state media reports.

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