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November 18, 2019

Mass Protests Break Out in Iran to Protest Government's Increase in Fuel Prices


"Some people are no doubt worried by this decision ... but sabotage and arson is done by hooligans not our people," the Iranian Supreme Leader said in a live speech on state TV.

Riot police and security forces clashed with demonstrators in Tehran and dozens of other cities on Saturday, Iranian news agencies and social media said, a day after the government increased the price of gasoline.

"The counter-revolution and Iran's enemies have always supported sabotage and breaches of security and continue to do so," Khamenei said. "Unfortunately some problems were caused, a number of people lost their lives and some centres were destroyed."

They shut down -- or "curbed" - - the internet.

Iranian internet access was curbed this week on the orders of a state security council, the semi-official news agency ISNA reported, a move apparently aimed at preventing protesters from communicating with each other and sharing video on social media.

An Iranian dissident says that the Iranian government is afraid.

The protests began last Friday, and before the weekend was over, the Islamic Republic of Iran was in a state of insurrection. Major disturbances have been reported in more than 100 towns and cities across Iran, from Ardabil in the north, on the Caspian Sea, to Bandar Abbas in the south, on the Persian Gulf.


Shouting "death to the dictator," hundreds of thousands of protesters have been streaming through the streets of Tehran and Mashad, Tabriz and Shiraz. Billboards and posters of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have been put to the torch.

"I'm getting first-hand information from people in the streets in different cities. They're mostly young people, and they’re crying, but they're full of hope. People are very angry," the prominent women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad told me on Sunday. "These people have nothing to lose. They’re fearless now. It is the government that is full of fear."


Although the gas price hikes triggered the protests that began last Friday, the popular demands explicitly call for regime change. Unlike 2009, the current protests are leaderless and organic, and thus more difficult to decapitate. "People are angrier and getting angry faster. The regime is already using live bullets, firing into crowds."

"This is the first time the government is afraid of the people right away. They shut down the internet right away. Straight away the government is full of fear. A leaderless movement is more dangerous. If the movement had a leader, they would go and arrest them. Now everyone is a leader."

She claims the Iranian thugs have already killed more than 40 people, but they're covering that up, the same as they covered up the actual death toll during the 2009 Green Uprising.

I've seen commenters mention a central bank in Iran being set fire to, or even "burned down," and have seen some references to that on some less-than-authoritative websites. If any of you have a good cite for that, please let me know.

Khamanei himself mentioned "arson," but did not specify what had been set ablaze.

Below is a tweet showing a building pouring out smoke, but, you know, we don't know what building this is, or what year it's from, or what country it's from. A lot of photos and videos get repurposed in the Middle East.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 06:20 PM

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