Iranian protests against prices continue and one person has been murdered

Iranian protests against prices continue and one person has been murdered

Protests against rising food prices resumed in many Iranian cities on Saturday, with one person murdered in a demonstration in the southwest.

Iranian protests against prices continue and one person has been murdered

Protests erupted in the northern city of Rasht, the central city of Farsan, and the northeastern city of Neyshabur.

Last week’s protests were sparked by a reduction in state subsidies for imported wheat, which resulted in price increases of up to 300 percent for a range of flour-based staples. President Ebrahim Raisi’s government also increased the price of basic staples like cooking oil and dairy products.

On one such video, protesters screamed, “Raisi, have some shame, let leave of the country!” The videos could not be verified independently by Reuters.

State media earlier said an estimated 300 people were dispersed by security forces in Dezful and 15 were arrested late on Thursday.

Local lawmaker Ahmad Avai told the semi-official ILNA news agency one person had been killed during rallies in Dezful, a city in the oil producing southwestern province of Khuzestan.

In the first signs of discontent over price rises, Iranian media last week reported disrupted internet services, an apparent attempt to stop the use of social media to organise rallies and disseminate videos.

Internet blockage observatory NetBlocks on Saturday reported a disruption lasting hours on Iran’s MobinNet. “The disruption is the latest in a series of telecoms cuts amid protests,” NetBlocks said on Twitter.

Wheat prices have sharply risen globally since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, adding to the cost of subsidies in Iran. Iranian officials have also blamed the price hikes on the smuggling of heavily subsidised flour into neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan.

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