Sporadic protests broke out in several cities in Iran for a fifth night on Saturday, a day after demonstrators attacked a Shiite seminary, according to local news agencies and social media, as Iranians brace for a return of US sanctions.
Hundreds of people rallied in cities, including Tehran, Karaj, Shiraz and Qom, according to videos posted on social media, to protest against high inflation caused in part by a collapse in the Iranian rial over fears of the reimposition of crippling sanctions tomorrow.
The US in May pulled out of a 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran under which international sanctions were lifted in return for curbs on its nuclear program.
Washington decided to reimpose sanctions and has told other countries they must halt all imports of Iranian oil from Nov. 4 or face US financial measures.
The protests have often begun with slogans against the high cost of living and alleged financial corruption, but quickly turned into anti-government rallies.
Footage posted online showed dozens of marchers in central Tehran chanting “Death to the dictator,” referring to Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Another video showed heavy police presence and road blocks in the city of Karaj west of the capital, Tehran, which has been the scene of daily protests.
The videos could not be authenticated.
Late on Friday, riot police intervened to disperse about 500 people chanting slogans against the government in the town of Eshtehard, 100km west of Tehran.
Some protesters threw rocks and bricks and damaged a Shiite Muslim seminary, the semi-official news agency Fars reported.
The US Department of State said on its Persian-language Twitter account that “While it is ultimately up to the #people_of_Iran to determine their country’s path, #America supports the voice of the Iranian people, which has been ignored for a long time.”
Washington is tomorrow to reimpose sanctions on Iran’s purchase of US dollars, its trade in gold and precious metals, as well as its dealings with metals, coal and industrial-related software.
Sanctions would also be reapplied to US imports of Iranian carpets and foodstuffs, and on certain related financial transactions.
Iran’s oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds by the end of this year because of the US sanctions, putting oil markets under strain amid supply outages elsewhere.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread