Iran: Protest over soaring cost of living

Demonstrations in Mashhad source Center for Human Rights in Iran

Demonstrations in Mashhad source Center for Human Rights in Iran

Videos posted on social media showed some protesters in Mashhad chanting slogans including "Death to the dictator" and "Death to Rohani", with police using water cannons to push back the crowds.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, saluted the heroic people of Kermanshah and other cities who rose up today with the slogans "death or freedom", "death to Rouhani", "death to the dictator", and "political prisoners must be freed", and protested against high prices, poverty and corruption.

A senior government official has accused the opponents of President Hassan Rouhani's administration of being involved in organizing a recent protest in the city of Mahshad.

The demonstrations are the most serious and widespread expression of public discontent in Iran since protests in 2009 that followed a disputed election, correspondents say.

People came out in cities across the country, chanting "the youth are unemployed, the clerics are in limousines".

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Mashhad Governor Mohammad Norouzian told local media that police confronted the "illegal" protest "with tolerance".

Tehran Governor's deputy for security declared the arrest of a number of people who had meant to launch a protest.

The promise of rebuilding the economy - shattered by years of sanctions and maladministration - has been the central plank of Rouhani's government since he first won power in 2013. Farmers have blamed the hikes on higher prices for imported feed.

He has succeeded in bringing inflation down to single digits - from highs of more than 40 percent under his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Nazar also reported smaller protests in Yazd in southern Iran, Shahroud in the north and Kashmar in the northeast.

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