(November 17, 2019 / JNS) Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday supported the gasoline price hike that led to protests across the country and blamed “sabotage” by the country’s enemies for the demonstrations, Reuters reported.
“Some people are no doubt worried by this decision … but sabotage and arson is done by hooligans, not our people. The counter-revolution and Iran’s enemies have always supported sabotage and breaches of security, and continue to do so,” Khamenei said on Iranian state TV, according to the report.
Security forces clashed with protesters on Saturday in Tehran and other cities across the country, a day after the government increased gas prices, according to Iranian media and social media. Officials have stated that one person has been killed as a result of the demonstrations in the city of Sirjan with several additional fatalities reported on social media.
Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli warned on Iranian state TV on Saturday as unrest spread across the country that security forces would act against protesters, Reuters reported.
“Security forces have so far shown restraint and have tolerated the protests. But as the calm and security of people is our priority, they will fulfill their duty to restore calm if attacks on public and individuals’ properties continue,” said Fazli.
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