TEHRAN: At least 23 people have been killed and more than 500 reportedly detained -since anti-government protests erupted across Iran late last week.
According to local media outlets and state officials, four people were killed in Iran’s Lorestan province; two in Khuzestan province; three in Hamadan province; and 14 in Isfahan province, including a police officer.
While state officials say at least 500 others have been detained, unofficial sources put the number much higher.
On Thursday, thousands of people hit the streets in Iran’s northeastern cities of Mashhad and Kashmar to protest rising inflation and perceived government mismanagement, according to local media reports. Thursday’s protests were followed by a number of pro-government protests on Saturday.
On Sunday, President Hassan Rouhani warned citizens against joining the protests, which have since spread to a number of other urban centers.
“We must avoid putting the country in a situation that our enemies can take advantage of,” Rouhani said after a cabinet meeting.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Khamenei says enemies have stirred unrest in country
Iran’s Supreme Leader on Tuesday accused enemies of the Islamic Republic of stirring unrest, as anti-government demonstrations that began last week continued.
“In recent days, enemies of Iran used different tools including cash, weapons, politics and intelligence apparatus to create troubles for the Islamic Republic,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying in a post on his official website.