Published: Tue, January 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

12 killed in protests, attacks on security

12 killed in protests, attacks on security

It said two people were killed and six wounded.

So far, security forces appear to have shown some restraint, in an apparent attempt to avoid escalating tensions.

Earlier Monday, the semi-official ILNA news agency quoted Hedayatollah Khademi, a representative for the town of Izeh, as saying two people died there Sunday night.

Izeh is about 280 miles southwest of Iran's capital Tehran. These protests are nowhere near as large as the ones in 2009, but they are spreading day by day.

More than 400 people have been arrested across the country.

"The government will show no tolerance for those who damage public properties, violate public order and create unrest in the society", he said in remarks on state TV.

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Pavel Durov, the chief executive officer of Telegram, said on Twitter that Iran was "blocking access for the majority of Iranians" after protesters had been using the popular messaging applications in a bid to publicise the demonstrations on social media. Small crowds have gathered in Tehran and police have used water cannon to disperse protesters at a major intersection - as captured in a video obtained by BBC Persian.

On Twitter, President Trump has sought to portray the unrest as the direct result of "Iranian citizens fed up with regime's corruption & its squandering of the nation's wealth to fund terrorism overseas".

Where will the protests lead?

Protests have remained confined to relatively small pockets of mostly young male demonstrators who are demanding the overthrow of the clerical regime.

But there is no obvious leadership. The economic protests initially just put pressure on Mr Rouhani's administration, but purported footage from recent demonstrations have included anti-government chants. But there are signs that he is as much in the dark about where these protests are going as anyone else.

While police have arrested some protesters, the country's powerful Revolutionary Guard and its affiliates have not intervened as they have in other unauthorised demonstrations since the 2009 election.

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