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Saturday night's clashes in Khorramshahr (Muhammarah)
Report: 4 protestors killed by security forces in Iran
Saudi-based Al-Arabiya network says Revolutionary Guard forces opened fire at protestors in southwest city of Khorramshahr after two days of anti-regime protests against the backdrop of a drinking water shortage; videos circulating on social media show protestors chanting ‘death to Khamenei’ and ‘we were robbed in the name of religion.'
At least four protestors have been shot and killed by security forces in the city of Khorramshahr (Muhammarah) in southwest Iran, the Saudi-based Al-Arabiya network reported Saturday night, after two days of protests against the regime against the backdrop of a drinking water shortage due to pollution and high salinity in the water reservoirs.

 

 

Videos circulating on social media show the protestors clashing with Revolutionary Guard forces, chanting “death to Khamenei” and “we were robbed in the name of religion.”

 

Violent protests in Iran, Saturday night

Violent protests in Iran, Saturday night

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According to the report, the news of the protesters’ death comes two days after major protests erupted in Khorramshahr as thousands of people gathered in front of the city’s central mosque.

 

The rallies protested against what activists described as a deteriorating economic situation of their city, as well as the lack of support for their towns with slogans against “regime thieves” being heard.

 

These demonstrations join the wave of protests that has washed through Iran in light of the economic crisis and the local currency’s collapse.

 

Iran called for calm on Sunday after the protests, rejecting claims of deaths.

 

Saturday night's clashes in Khorramshahr (Muhammarah)
Saturday night's clashes in Khorramshahr (Muhammarah)

 

"No one has been killed in the unrest and just one person has been wounded in a shooting," said Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, quoted by the state news agency IRNA.

 

"Our effort is to bring these protests to an end as soon as possible with restraint from police and the cooperation of authorities, but if the opposite happens, the judiciary and law enforcement forces will carry out their duties," Rahmani Fazli was quoted as saying.

 

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said the American sanctions on this country were “aimed at inciting the Iranians against their government.”

 

 

He added that “they are exerting economic pressure to separate the people from the government, but six presidents before (Donald Trump) tried to do that and were forced to give up.”

 

Speaking before the clashes, Khamenei said on Saturday that the United States was acting together with Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab states that regard Shi'ite Muslim Iran as their main regional foe in trying to destabilize the government in Tehran.

 

"If America was able to act against Iran, it would not need to form coalitions with notorious and reactionary states in the region and ask their help in fomenting unrest and instability," Khamenei told graduating Revolutionary Guards officers, in remarks carried by state TV.

 

Protestors in Tehran (Photo: AP)
Protestors in Tehran (Photo: AP)

 

Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blamed an “Israeli and American” campaign for the economic hardships sweeping the country as it prepares to face reimposed US sanctions since President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal.

 

“We will not surrender to the United States. I kiss the hand of every person in the Iranian nation and we say to the world that our regime cannot be undermined,” the president said against a background of the collapse of the national currency and as Tehran grows increasingly nervous with site of mass demonstrations in the streets.

 

 (Photo: EPA)
(Photo: EPA)

 

The Iranian president has found himself under pressure from both the general public and officials in the regime, who have grown impatient with his lack of success and angry with perceived hypocrisy.

 

Citizens criticized Rouhani after he was pictured wearing western sports brands despite urging Iranians to only purchase local products to strengthen the economy.

 

In a defiant declaration, Rouhani also promised Wednesday that the government would survive until the conclusion of its term.

 

The American sanction threat had dealt a critical blow to the Iranian rial, which hit an all-time low last week of 90,000 against one US dollar. In late 2017, it was 42,890 against one US dollar. Iran is preparing for the return of American sanctions in two rounds, in August and in November.

 

Reuters contributed to this report.

 


פרסום ראשון: 07.01.18, 08:28
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