Iran warns protesters will 'pay the price'

Randall Padilla
January 1, 2018

People protest in Tehran, Iran December 30, 2017 in this picture obtained from social media.

Telegram is particularly popular in Iran.

"Some meant to enter and damage some government places but the attackers did not manage to achieve their goals. and the town is under control", the unidentified official told the ILNA news agency.

The protests began in Mashhad against high living costs and the struggling economy before spreading quickly to other areas and turning against the Islamic regime as a whole.

In one of the few official reports, an official in Arak, around 300 kilometres (190 miles) southwest of Tehran, said 80 people had been arrested overnight.

Protesters "must certainly know that improper behavior will be to their detriment, and the nation will come out and stand against these actions and throw a hard punch in their faces", the Revolutionary Guard's commander for security in Tehran, Brigadier General Esmail Kowsari, said according to a statement carried by the semi-official Iranian Students' News Agency late Saturday.

Rouhani's main achievement, a 2015 deal with world powers that curbed Iran's nuclear program in return for a lifting of most global sanctions, is yet to bring the economic benefits the government promised.

Activists were using Telegram to organize and discuss the protests, and they also used Instagram to share photos and videos of the demonstrations.

State media confirmed that both Instagram and Telegram had been blocked, and cited a source saying it was done as a safety measure.

The Iranian president said that Iranian citizens were "completely free to express their criticism of the government or stage protests.in a way that would lead to the improvement of the country's conditions". He added, however, that the demonstrations should not devolve into violence or anti-government chants.

The Iranian government is denying responsibility for the deaths and unrest.

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He did not offer a cause of death for the two protesters, but said "no bullets were shot from police and security forces at the people".

US President Donald Trump weighed in on the unrest this weekend. "The world is watching!"

Shortly after his tweet, he posted videos of him adding to his thoughts saying, "The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change" and "oppressive regimes can not endure forever".

The protests have been the biggest show of dissent since huge rallies in 2009. "The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism". Looks like they will not take it any longer.

"This man, who is an enemy of the Iranian nation from the top of his head to his very toes, has no right to sympathise with Iranians", he added.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said, "The Iranian government is being tested by its own citizens".

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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