Iran Leaders Warn of Action as Protests Grow Nationwide

Four reported dead in south

The Iranian government’s decision to raise gasoline prices has fueled massive nationwide protests, with demonstrations in at least 100 cities, and four reported dead in clashes in the south, where protesters attacked a military barracks.

The Iranian government has blocked parts of the Internet, and officials are warning “saboteur” protesters would face severe punishment. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei backed the efforts, giving approval to the fuel increases, and cautioning that the right to protest doesn’t extend to “rioters.

Reformist President Rouhani similarly said Iran could not allow “insecurity” to continue in the cities, suggesting that the protest movement will have no real leadership figures backing them in the days to come.

Officials are trying to blame foreign influence for the violence. Though there is as yet no proof of this, foreign sanctions have clearly done a lot of economic harm which left the Iraqi public a lot more vulnerable to price increases.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.