Protests triggered by price hikes spread in Iran

Protests broke out in a number of Iranian cities late on Friday for a 3rd consecutive night time following a pointy rise within the costs of staple meals, movies shared on social media confirmed.

The protests have been triggered by a authorities announcement on Thursday that the price of staple meals resembling cooking oil, hen, eggs and milk would rise as excessive as 300 p.c.

Protests broke out in plenty of cities on Friday, together with Farsan, Dorud, Jooneghan, Cholicheh, Borujerd, Dehdasht, and Ardebil, in response to movies shared on social media.

One video confirmed protesters chanting “death to [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei” within the metropolis of Farsan within the southwestern province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, whereas one other video confirmed protesters chanting “death to [President Ebrahim] Raisi” within the metropolis of Borujerd within the western province of Lorestan.

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Sound of gunfire could possibly be heard in some movies, together with in a single video from Borujerd, through which the individual filming could possibly be heard saying that safety forces have opened fireplace on protesters. Sound of gunfire may be heard in one other video from Dorud.

Other movies confirmed heavy presence of safety forces in a number of cities, together with in Jooneghan and Cholicheh in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province.

State information company IRNA mentioned on Friday authorities had arrested 22 protesters. Most of these arrests came about within the oil-rich southwestern province of Khuzestan, the place the protests first started.

Food costs throughout the Middle East have surged on account of international provide chain snarls and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which each export many necessities. Iran imports half of its cooking oil from Ukraine, the place preventing has stored many farmers from the fields.

Although Iran produces roughly half of its personal wheat, it imports a lot of the remainder from Russia. The conflict has added to inflationary pressures. Smuggling of Iran’s extremely sponsored bread into neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan has spiked as starvation spreads throughout the area.

Inflation has soared to just about 40 p.c in Iran, its highest degree since 1994. Youth unemployment additionally stays excessive. Some 30 p.c of Iranian households reside beneath the poverty line, in response to Iran’s Statistics Center.

With the Associated Press

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