Published: Sun, January 07, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Iran's Leader Blames 'Enemies' for Deadly Unrest

Iran's Leader Blames 'Enemies' for Deadly Unrest

A local MP said the pair were shot dead overnight in the town of Izeh, raising the toll from the protests to six.

Other demonstrations were reported in Kermanshah and Khorramabad in the west, Shahinshahr in the northwest and Zanjan in the north.

"President Rouhani has nothing to lose by taking a bold step".

In Mashhad, some chanted, "Not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran", a reference to what protesters say is the regime's focus on exporting the revolution, rather than responding to domestic needs.

On Wednesday, Iranian state media began airing footage of pro-government demonstrations in cities across the country after a week of protests and unrest over the country's poor economy.

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Pence said the Trump administration and Congress are developing legislation that would immediately re-impose all nuclear- and missile-related sanctions if Iran resumes attempts to develop an atomic bomb and missiles to deliver a bomb.

"It is better for him to try to address the U.S. internal issues like the murder of scores killed on a daily basis in the United States during armed clashes and shootings, as well as millions of the homeless and hungry people in the country", Ghasemi said, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

The Iranian people have endured decades of political repression by an autocratic, Islamist government. Foreign powers long vied for control over Iran's natural resources.

Up to 400 people are reported to have been arrested in recent days, including 200 in Tehran on Saturday night. Despite claims by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that they were instigated by foreign "enemies", the protests that erupted in that country last week seem to be home-grown and motivated by dissatisfaction with high prices, unemployment and a corrupt ruling elite.

In the southwestern city of Ahvaz, police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of demonstrators.

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What about the war of words with Donald Trump?

"Iranians understand the sensitive situation of Iran and the region and will act based on national interests, " Rouhani said, according to the Mehr news agency. Rouhani has dismissed Trump's criticisms, while many Iranians remain angry with the American president over his travel bans barring them from getting US visas, as well as his refusal to re-certify the nuclear deal. But the protests might soon be quelled, dissolve into competing camps led by rival leaders, or be hijacked by hostile anti-Western forces, as numerous Arab Spring revolts were hijacked.

Economic hardship has worsened despite the lifting of sanctions against the Iranian government in 2015 by the Obama administration.

Numerous protest chants are calling for the downfall of the entire Islamic regime, unlike the 2009 protesters who sought to strengthen reformists and work within the system.

They have spread to small towns throughout the country and have the potential to grow in size. The protests initially started peacefully but turned violent in some cases when hooligans joined the demonstrators. But there are signs that he is as much in the dark about where these protests are going as anyone else.

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The past week's protests have been the largest since the disputed 2009 presidential election, which ended in bloodshed. Authorities also reacted with force to the current wave of demonstrations - at least 21 people had been killed and hundreds arrested as The World Weekly went to press- but so far have refrained from the type of mass crackdown seen nearly a decade ago.

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