Mon, Aug 06, 2018 - Page 5 News List

Iranians protest prices as US sanctions loom

Reuters, DUBAI

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.

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