Iran accuses ‘enemies’ as US seeks emergency UN session
Iran’s supreme leader has blamed external “enemies” for heightening turmoil in the country, as the death toll in ongoing nationwide anti-government rallies has passed 20.
The comments by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s top authority, on Tuesday came hours before the US said that it would seek emergency United Nations talks on the protests in the Islamic Republic.
At least eight people were killed on Monday night, according to state media, taking the number of people killed since the demonstrations began on December 28 to at least 22.
Read more at http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/iran-khamenei-blames-enemies-death-toll-rises-180102145255360.html
Iran Reformists Condemn Violence, US Support for Protests
Iran’s reformist politicians on Tuesday condemned violence that has rocked the country in recent days, accusing the US of stirring unrest.
“Without doubt the Iranian people are confronted with difficulties in their daily lives… and have the right to peacefully demand and protest,” said a statement from the Association of Religious Combattants, headed by reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami.
“But the events of recent days have shown that opportunists and trouble-makers have exploited the demonstrations to create problems, insecurity and destroy public buildings, while insulting sacred religious and national values.”
Read more at http://english.almanar.com.lb/419307
Iran protests: how did they start and where are they heading?
A relatively small protest on 28 December, in Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city, began a wave of seemingly spontaneous demonstrations that have spread across the country. Officials close to the moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, have blamed supporters of his rival, hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who has his base in the city, for starting the protests. Initial chants of “death to Rouhani” soon gave way to harsher slogans targeting the foundations of the Islamic republic, such as “death to the dictator”, in reference to the country’s Raisi-allied supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Read more at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/02/iran-protests-how-did-they-start-and-where-are-they-heading
Iranian Protesters Raise Stakes, Attacking Police Stations
Violent crackdowns overnight on Sunday against protesters have led to a violent backlash in Iran, as some of the protesters look to raise the stakes with attacks of their own against police stations, with reports of some posts and stations being set ablaze.
Monday was the fifth day of protests in Iran, which started with small economic protests in Tehran, and have since grown into major political protests that are increasingly expanding nationwide.
At least one policeman has been confirmed killed, shot with a hunting rifle, and three others were reported wounded. The killing took place in Najaf Abad, on the outskirts of the major city of Isfahan.
Iranian state TV also reported clashes at unspecified military facilities in the country, where protesters attempted to force their way in and were repelled by “strong resistance” from the troops within.
Hundreds have been reported arrested nationwide as Iran tries to keep a lid on the protests, but are struggling between calls by moderates to avoid making things worse, and calls by hardliners to restore order quickly and forcefully.
Published in http://news.antiwar.com/2018/01/01/iranian-protesters-raise-stakes-attacking-police-stations/
Police Crack Down on Iran Protests, Many Killed Overnight
Desperate efforts to try to keep the the public protests in Iran from getting any bigger appear to have run into a major problem Sunday night, when violence surged, leaving at least 10 more people dead, with another nine Monday, bringing the toll from nearly a week of demonstrations to 21 killed, including one policeman.
The protests began last week in Iran as economic demonstrations, complaining about high inflation and unemployment rates. Amid attempts to crack down, these rallies quickly became highly political, with calls for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to leave office.
Things seemed to be quieting down earlier in the weekend, but came to a head Sunday night, with claims of armed groups of protesters attacking security forces and leading to deadly skirmishes.
This potentially makes things far more dangerous for Iran, as the rising death toll will almost certainly add to the unrest across the nation. Indeed, protests seem to be picking up pace across the country on Monday.
Iran’s moderates have been urging caution in reaction to the protests, noting how quickly the 2009 Green rallies grew in the face of violence, while the hardliners see any sign of unrest as proof of a foreign plot, and seek to double down on the crackdown.
Published at http://news.antiwar.com/2018/01/01/police-crack-down-on-iran-protests-many-killed-overnight/
Corruption and inequality fuelling protests in Iran as Rouhani faces pressure to crack down
ran is seeing its most widespread protest demonstrations since 2009. They are still gaining momentum and some 15 people are reported to have been killed, though the circumstances in which they died remains unclear. The motive for the protests is primarily economic, but many slogans are political and some directly attack clerical rule in Iran which was introduced with the overthrow of the Shah in 1979.
The demonstrations began with one against rising prices on Thursday in Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city and the site of its most holy shrine, a place which is traditionally seen as a stronghold for clerical hardliners. It may be that these conservatives initiated or tolerated the protests as a way of undermining President Hassan Rouhani, seen as a political moderate, who was re-elected by a landslide last year. If so, the protests have swiftly spiralled out of the control of the conservatives and are erupting all over Iran, strong evidence of a high level of discontent everywhere in the country and possibly a sign of covert organisation by anti-government groups.
Read more at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/why-iran-protests-demonstrations-violence-corruption-inequality-hassan-rouhani-donald-trump-a8137051.html