Iran: Violence on third day as protesters demand end to the clerical rule

An Iranian woman raises her fist amid the smoke of tear gas at the University of Tehran during a protest driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran, Dec. 30, 2017.
An Iranian woman raises her fist amid the smoke of tear gas at the University of Tehran during a protest driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran, Dec. 30, 2017.

Some anti-establishment protests happening in Iranian cities have turned violent, video footage shows.

They began three days ago – initially in protest at falling living standards – and are the biggest show of dissent since huge pro-reform rallies in 2009.

Demonstrators have ignored a warning by Iran’s interior minister to avoid “illegal gatherings”.

Two demonstrators are reported dead in Dorud after sustaining gunshot wounds in a video posted on social media.

Videos filmed elsewhere in the country show protesters setting fire to a police vehicle and there are reports of attacks on government buildings.

What started the protests?

The current protests began in Mashhad on Thursday over living standards and rising food prices, and by Friday had spread to several major cities.

The Iranian authorities are blaming anti-revolutionaries and agents of foreign powers for the outbreak.

Overall, the numbers said to be taking part in demonstrations range from hundreds in some places to thousands in others – but demonstrations do not appear to be taking place on a massive scale.

Slogans have been chanted against both Mr Rouhani and Mr Khamenei, and clerical rule in general.

Demonstrators were reportedly heard on Friday yelling slogans like “The people are begging, the clerics act like God”.

There is also anger at Iran’s interventions abroad. In Mashhad, some chanted “not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran”, a reference to what protesters say is the administration’s focus on foreign rather than domestic issues.

What’s happening now?

Much of the information about what is occurring is emerging on social media, making it difficult to confirm anything.

In the town of Abhar in northern Iran, demonstrators have set fire to large banners bearing the picture of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Meanwhile in Arak in central Iran, protesters have reportedly set fire to the local headquarters of the pro-government Basij militia.

Iranian protesters chant slogans at a rally in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017. Iranian hard-liners rallied Saturday to support the country's supreme leader and clerically overseen government as spontaneous protests sparked by anger over the co
Iranian protesters chant slogans at a rally in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017. Iranian hard-liners rallied Saturday to support the country’s supreme leader and clerically overseen government as spontaneous protests sparked by anger over the co

In the capital Tehran, large numbers of protesters gathered at Azadi square, BBC Persian reports. A senior Revolutionary Guards’ figure in Tehran said the situation in the city was under control.

Demonstrators would be met with “the nation’s iron fist” if they continued, Brigadier-General Esmail Kowsari told student news agency ISNA.

In Mashhad, in the north-east, protesters burned police motorcycles in a confrontation caught on video.

There are also numerous reports of people losing internet access on their mobile phones.

In Kermanshah, western Iran, a demonstrator called Makan told BBC Persian that protesters were beaten up “but we couldn’t tell if it was the police or the Basij militia”.

“I’m not protesting against President Rouhani – and yes he needs to improve the economy – but it’s the system that is rotten,” he said. “It’s the Islamic Republic and its institutions that need reform.”

Media captionIranian state TV showed crowds of government supporters in the capital, Tehran
Earlier, protesters at Tehran University called for Ayatollah Khamenei to step down and there were clashes with police.

Thousands of pro-government demonstrators turned out earlier on Saturday for big rallies across the country, organised in advance to mark the eighth anniversary of the suppression of the 2009 street protests.

‘An eye-opening three days’

By BBC Persian correspondent Kasra Naji

Although small, the anti-government protests on Saturday took on a much greater importance than the government-sponsored rallies.

It’s not every day that there are thousands of people voicing opposition to the government.

As night fell, reports were still coming of protests in at least nine cities. There have been clashes with the police in some places.

The common factor in all of them has been protesters’ demand for an end to clerical rule in Iran.

Widespread discontent is not limited to complaints about rising prices or widespread unemployment.

It has been an eye-opening three days for the government, which has been careful not to provoke the protesters too much.

What has the reaction been?

The CEO of popular mobile messaging app Telegram said an Iranian account had been suspended for calling for attacks on police, after a complaint by Iran’s communications minister.

In the US, President Donald Trump tweeted: “Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice. The world is watching!”

Iran’s foreign ministry called earlier comments from Mr Trump and other US officials “opportunistic and deceitful”.

First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri has suggested that government opponents within Iran were behind the initial protests, state broadcaster IRIB reports.

He said: “Some incidents in the country these days are on the pretext of economic problems, but it seems there is something else behind them. They think by doing this they harm the government, but it will be others who ride the wave.”

Iran is a key provider of military support to the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. It is also accused of providing arms to Houthi rebels fighting a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, which it denies, and is an ally of Lebanon’s powerful Shia movement Hezbollah.

The US State Department has urged all nations “to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for basic rights and an end to corruption”.

Map of Iran showing cities where protests are occurring
  • Rascal

    Well, the mullah government has started killing more of its own people again for the right to protest legitimate concerns. Only pro-mullah paid protesters are allowed this right.

    The people need to keep the ball rolling to produce results.

    • Niemals

      For days there have been protests in Iranian cities.

      The people do keep the ball rolling.

      At first only against economic and foreign policy, now they are increasingly directed against the entire government.

      • Hind Abyad

        Very excited Animals ?

    • Niemals

      Any reactions from HanniMegaHin regarding that pro-mullah paid protesters are allowed, but not the demonstrators that attacked a the city hall in Tehran?

    • Hind Abyad

      Zionists are frantic (your friends) post fake news like Syria 2011. This is Bahrain April 2011, chanting is Arabic not Persian, flags are Bahrain not Iran.

      • Y K

        Send us pictures of cockroaches in your apartment. That must be a sight to behold! 🙂

      • MaImequer0

        Wow sweetie… don’t have a hezzy fit. ☻☻☻

  • Niemals

    Demonstrators attacked a city hall in Tehran, as protests against Iran’s regime continued for the third day in a row.
    The regime responded to temporarily closing down the internet.

    The government had warned that they would cut the internet access to mobile phones if the “illegal gatherings” continued. Just before midnight Internet was shut down in the capital, but later began to work again.

    Video material posted on social media is said to show how thousands of people march through the cities of Khorramabad, Zanjan and Ahvaz, as well as reports that several people were killed in the city of Dorud.

    “It will be a day when the Iranian people will have a choice. The world is watching!” Trump twittered.
    The Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Bahran Ghasemi, dismisses his comments saying that they are “opportunistic”.

  • Niemals Protest against the Islamic dress code in Tehran
    Now, according to statements by Iranian officials, these scenes are to be no more.🤔🤔

    On Dec. 27, Brig. Gen. Hossein Rahimi, head of Greater Tehran police, said, “According to the commander of the NAJA, those who do not observe Islamic values and have negligence in this area will no longer be taken to detention centers, a legal case will not be made for them and we will not send them to court; rather, education classes to reform their behavior will be offered.” 👀 🤐

  • Hind Abyad

    Syrian CIA revolution copycat.
    ‘Regime change advocate gets points for honesty about CIA interference in the domestic affairs of other countries, such as Iran..and look at that “Islamist terror groups blow up pipeline in Iran”. So peaceful Iranian Protests

    • Hind Abyad

      Same scenario as Iraq, Syria. Guess who was there
      US ex-Ambassador to Iraq, Ambassador to Syria.. haha

      • master09

        Where do u find this stuff.

        • Niemals

          Whatever stuff you asking her about is to be find on well known sites that she copy and paste, as she does on her Twitter account. 🤣

        • Niemals

          This stuff you finde on her Twitter account.
 A Swedish ex politician (Maria Robsahm) has been shut off from Facebook after publishing a post that criticized Antisemitism..

          [Facebook Help Community]
          For the past weeks I have reported content posted by Czech users which is clearly racist, antisemitic, uses Nazi symbols, contains hate speech or threatens people with violence.

          So far, none of my reports was taken serious.
          I would like to ask why Facebook allows groups called “We don’t want Gypsies in the Czech republic”, why they allow people to post antisemitic content, including ACTUAL Nazi propaganda from the 1930s, why they allow people to post things suggesting that members of a certain ethnicity should be shot, etc.

          Can anybody please answer my question? I am getting seriously offended.
          Asked about 4 years ago by Jan Krcmar

 Facebook says it is deleting accounts at the direction of the U.S. and Israeli governments….

        • Hind Abyad

          While I’m here let’s put something to rest

          By Dr. Ashraf Ezzat
          “Maybe East is East and West is West, but the twain shall meet in this essay.”

          “..some sciences, art and humanities are concerned, but when it comes to the spiritual and religious ideas that ‘made in the west’ concept won’t hold up to our scrutiny and will eventually fall flat on its face.

          And since Judaism and its stories were (seen) at the core of the Christian theology, the two were somehow blended as one faith under the common designation “Judeo-Christianity”. Two totally antagonistic belief systems that shouldn’t have been merged together, hadn’t it been for the Roman political agenda to paint the whole Empire with a monochromic religious brush. That actually payed off in a way that helped put an end to the (ceaseless) Jewish rebellion/militancy (like of today’s Islamic State) in the Roman Provinces of Arabia and the Levant.

          Judaism and Islam: Two sides of the same coin

          Most of the orientalists who examined the Quran and Islamic literature and jurisprudence have often come to the conclusion that Islamic literature/scripture had copycatted many of the Jewish laws and stories. Well, in that regard the orientalists and most of the Western scholars are damn right. But oddly enough no one of them wondered why Islam and Judaism are so (strikingly) similar in their laws and stories. Why the same stories of the Jewish Patriarchs are reiterated over and over again, and may be in a more detailed manner, in the Qur’an?”

    • Rascal

      The Iranian people have a mind of there own and they are not stupid enough to pUT up wits this BS Islamic dictatorship forever. You should support power for the people. You worried your paycheck will stop if the evil mullahs go? It is no surprise you support mullahs over people power.

      • Niemals

        The Iranian people have a mind of there own, that is not the case with Abyss – she belongs to the ‘resistance’ of Nasrallah as you used to call it….

        • Hind Abyad


      • Y K

        “You should support power for the people.”

        She’ll support any genocidal dictator as long as he kills Jooz (or at least brags about it). The “people”? You must be kidding me. 🙂

  • Niemals

    On Farsnews you can’t find any anti-government protesters… 🤔 🤐 👀

  • Danny Farah

    It’s time to end the tyrannical rules of the Mullahs and most of all the Khamenei so called supreme leader.
    They enjoy all the best in life while a lot of Iranians suffers the most in life and many are in poverty.
    We wish the same tyrannical rules ends in Saudi Arabia as well and in Syria and anywhere in the world.
    And we wish the end of the dictators in Turkey and Israel who wants to gobble up all the lands of the palestinians and make them homeless. I know some might regard this as an American and/or Israeli ploy to incite the Iranian populations against their rulers. But it’s been coming to them for a long time. You can’t just make this up and anyone accusing the Iranians being subjected to a plot by outside influences then you are backstabbing the protesters who are wanting the end of privileges and iron fist control that is treating them like animals. the same in Syria and the same where the Israeli settlers kick palestinians out and shoot at them without being held accountable for their actions. I hope this year will bring the tyranny to end in many nations. I wish nothing but peace for everyone and I hope there will be a big transformation of rules in Iran. The Iranians are very smart people and even if and if there are change of Rules, Israel should not expect a friendler Iran anyway.

    • Y K

      This one reads like the functioning and the Dumbyaditis-infected parts of your brain are struggling for control over your mental capacities. 🙂

      • Danny Farah

        The only dumbass is you. You think you are above and beyond everyone while you are nothing but a welfare state living off the American taxpayers. If you have a brain you would try to reach out to your neighbors and make peace with them. But instead you always insist on taking their properties by force and want to divide and conquer. the 2006 war was wake up call for Israel the next one is going to be much more dangerous. You may win the war but will always have to watch your dumbass and forever because your stubborn mind and the settlers who smell like cockroaches wants to think they are different than the PLO or Hamas.. you both think alike and stink alike. No difference. If you are proud of your nations then stop taking our money. But you are nothing but con artists who know the american system of politics and is able to manipulate them as you please so you can keep sucking the life out of the US.

        • Y K

          Seriously, man, why do you insist on writing these rambling, logorrheic missives? Why can’t you express your thoughts succinctly?

          By the way, “Dumbyaditis” is an acquired syndrome of which our mutual “Resister” friend Dumbyad is a picture-perfect representative. “Dumbass” is something entirely different. You may not be the smartest fish in the pond, but a dumbass you certainly ain’t.

          • Danny Farah

            If you reread my original post you got all heated up because I mentioned the Settlers I am sure. All I am saying and I shoot straight and I have not swayed away from what I believe.
            As far as the Palestinians leaders I agree with you they screwed up their own people and I despised what the PLO did to us in Lebanon. But I sympathise with the Palestinians people plight. I do not like them either to use terror against jewish civilians and that’s what made them look bad. But when you are under occupations for so many years and you are stuck with Economic injustice for so long it’s hard not explode. The Israelis clearly have the upper hand here and they have an opportunity to bring in the people under the rug of their leaders. The israelis needs to budge and give Palestinians some room to breathe. I am sure if Al Aqsa Mosque was not built in Jerusalem before maybe there is a chance the palestinians would not have cared much.
            “The golden Dome of the Rock is a shrine built over the foundation stone in 691 CE. The Crusaders captured Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in 1099 and converted the Al Aqsa Mosque into a palace and the Dome of the Rock into a church. Saladin captured Jerusalem in 1187 and restored the mosque.”
            So clearly from the history there were the Temple Mount and the mosque as well. so spare us all the misery and you can stop the madness but granting the Palestinians peace of East jerusalem and stop building settlements and allow them to go back to their original homes. Create a stream of jobs for them and attract them toward you. Then you will see more moderate palestinians taking over instead of Hamas.
            Yes Netanyahu may not look like a dictator but to the palestinians he certainly acting like one. He doesn’t want to give in an inch to them and he and the Likud keep stepping on them. Anyway I cannot wait til all the dictators in the Middleast, persia, turkey and everywhere else like NK are all gone. but that’s not going to happen anytime soon not without wiping out half the populations. And finally if you can’t understand what I am saying then from now on don’t troll me and I don’t troll you. Kapish..

          • Hind Abyad

            The Zionist dictator is logoreya incarnated i can see his face shaking in rage

          • Y K

            This obscure “Maurice Samuel” (had to google him) is “the Zionist dictator”? “Crazy” doesn’t even begin to describe your senseless, garbled, incontinent rants. With enemies like you, Zionists don’t even need too many friends. 🙂

          • Niemals

            How this Maurice Samuel (I too had to google him…) can be “the Zionist dictator” if he was just an American author and translator of Romanian-Jewish descent?

          • Y K

            Dumbyad doesn’t know any of that. She only listened to the voices in her empty head constantly whispering “Jooz, Jooz”. 🙂

          • Niemals

            You can not count on Abyss common sense, in that individual only a black abyss exists.

          • Hind Abyad

            Yes Zionist poison on the loose emboldened by Trump Jebusalem gaff.

      • Hind Abyad

        Exact same script from Kiev, Libya, etc dusted off again. Same words. Particularly cruel when you are preparing to bomb these same citizens to pretend to care about their rights…Cretino empty shell

  • Niemals

    Iranian anger at the regime has erupted in the most violent protests since 2009. The uprising could become a “Iranian Spring,” says Iranian expert Khosrozadeh.