The protests in Iran. Why the increase in fuel prices threatens to demolish the regime of the Islamic revolution
In Iran, the weekend was marked by a protest: people took to the streets after the government announced a two-fold increase in the price of gasoline and the return of the practice quotas on fuel sales in one hand. Very soon the economic slogan was supplemented with the political. Present what is known at this time.
How it all began?
The government of Iran has ordered to raise the price of gasoline. On Friday, November 15, it entered into force. Authorities explained this concern for the poor: the savings resulting from the reduction of state subsidies, which helped to keep prices at the same level, promised to send material assistance to the needy.
The cost of automotive fuel in Iran is one of the lowest in the world: to raise a liter of gasoline cost 15 thousand riyals (that’s $0.09 each, or slightly less than $ 6) and after the increase in cost of 30 thousand riyals (nearly $0.2, respectively, slightly less than 13 rubles). But the increase was twofold, that is, it was perceived by the population as a shock.
To mitigate the effects of such drastic measures, Iranian officials provided for their preferential fuel costs — all the same 15 thousand riyals. However, the reduced price will be valid for quota volume of gasoline. The practice of limiting the sale of gasoline in one hand in Iran is not new, last time it was introduced under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but was later cancelled. Now, the government established that every car owner will be able to fill at a reduced (read — old) price is only 60 liters of gasoline per month, and the owner of the motorcycle — only 25 litres. A separate quota was provided for taxi drivers — 400 liters. Every liter of petrol sold outside the quota, will cost twice as much — that is 30 thousand riyals per liter.
As events unfolded?
Protests against this decision were covered several cities, including the capital. According to some reports, the number of these places reached 100, that is, the protest can be considered universal. It started with peaceful rallies. But in some cities, performances have quickly become more radical, helped by participation in the actions of a large number of young people.
For example, in the city of Sirjan, protesters vented anger at several gas stations, damaging them. And after all tried to set fire to a local storage facility. Then the first blood was shed: in a skirmish with the police killed one and wounded two men, though, as assure the authorities, the members of the security forces was limited to fire warning shots in the air.
All, according to unconfirmed reports at this hour, since Friday in clashes killed 27 of the Iranians. There are victims by the police.
In the Tehran motorists have blocked several key routes. Police arrived to restore order, they are encouraged to jump to their side. Trying to start a military crackdown, the protesters responded with arson patrol cars.
According to the Agency Fars, the total number of protesters in Iran only two days amounted to nearly 87.5 thousand people, and the number of detained demonstrators — about 1 thousand In a number of places marked by attacks on police, burning banks, shops and various institutions. Special attention participants paid to video surveillance systems in cities: they knocked the camera and cut the wires that are brought to them, trying to “blind” force of law. Additional chaos brought snowfall that hit the capital.
Along with the economic slogans of protest quickly emerged political. One of the characteristic demands to stop backing the Islamist movement abroad, it is not to help the poor, according to the protesters, are the money that the government expects to gain by revision of retail fuel prices. Another call to stop the foreign policy that turns Iran into a pariah state, imposed heavy economic sanctions. Rallies were chanting: “We lie that the US is our enemy, real enemy at the top of the country!” Telegram-channels has also extended footage of the burning statues of the Supreme ruler of Iran — Ayatollah Khomeini — and the destruction of the symbols of the Islamic revolution. In social networks spread the shots where women publicly take off the hijab, stating that it is not going to wear this, according to them, a symbol of tyranny.
How does the power?
One of the first measures of the country’s leadership has become its actual disconnection from the Internet. It happened Saturday night on the orders of the Supreme Council of national security of the country. The resolution will need to re-connect, but until such order is not. The Iranian authorities took into account the experience of the Arab revolutions and the role played by the messengers in the coordination of the actions of the protesters. It is worth noting that the most popular messenger in Iran a few years remains a Telegram.
On Sunday, Iranian authorities announced that they were able to identify “the main culprits of the riots.” In a statement released by the Ministry of information (intelligence) Iran is said to stabilize the situation “taken appropriate action”, as the Iranian public will be informed soon. The government intends to “decisively confront those who provoke unrest and disrupts the tranquility of civilians.”
Interestingly, on the eve of the largest protests, on November 14, the country’s top leadership in the person of Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei pardoned 32 people accused of crimes against the security of the country.
Khamenei agreed with the relevant proposal of the head of the judiciary of Iran Ibrahim Raisi, at the request of the judicial authorities occurred for the first time. Among Amnesty students and journalists. All in all, Khamenei, according to a post on his official website, agreed to grant Amnesty to 3552 people.
When the protests began, the Supreme leader, harshly criticized their participants, describing the performances as “sabotage”, organized by the enemies of the Islamic Republic and “counter-revolutionaries”. (Wanting to believe this version will find her confirmation in a quick support for the protesters, as expressed by official Washington — the main geopolitical enemy of Tehran). While Ali Khamenei noted that the government’s decision to raise prices “designed” and enforceable.
Meanwhile, on Monday evening, authorities will begin to implement cash payments to the poorest segments of the population most affected by higher prices for gasoline. Receive subsidies of about 19 million families, and the amount of payments will depend on the number of family members. The intention to provide financial assistance to the victims of the increase in gasoline prices said Sunday, amid protests, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.
According to TASS, RIA “news”, EuroNews.
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