About a thousand people have been arrested for their role in the riots that have taken place over the past two days during protests in Iran over rising gas prices, according to a security report released Sunday.
The greatest damage to public and private property took place in the provinces of Khuzestan (southwest of the country), Tehran, Fars (south) and Kerman (south), according to the document, which is echoed by the agency Mehr. A hundred bank branches and more than fifty large stores were set on fire throughout the country since the start of the Friday night of the protests. A branch of the Maskan bank was today on fire in Sadegian Square, in western Tehran, whose accesses were cut off by a large display of riot police, also present in other areas of the city. The unrest also led to the partial closure of the capital’s Grand Bazaar this day, confirmed the Islamic Association of Trade Unions and Markets.
The report estimated that 87,000 people, mostly men, were involved in the riots in a hundred points of the country. It indicated that an exact death toll is not yet available, but that the majority was recorded during attacks on petrol warehouses and security force headquarters. So far, the authorities have confirmed the death of a policeman in the town of Kermanshah (north-west) and of a demonstrator in Sirjan (south). However, the state television itself alluded to “several” dead and Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Jamenei, said that “some people lost their lives. The police officer’s death came from a gunshot Saturday night while protecting his police station in Kermanshah from assault by a group of demonstrators.
The situation today seems calmer than the day before, but the Internet is still cut off to prevent the organization of protests and the reception of images of them. The spark of this wave of protests was the rise in the price of gasoline, which went on Friday from 10,000 rials per liter (0.10 dollars at free exchange) to 30,000 (0.30 dollars). However, each driver is entitled to 60 liters per month at a price of 15,000 rials (0.15 dollars). The last time Iran was the scene of mass protests was at the end of December 2017, on that occasion motivated by the famine and the poor economic situation of the country