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Iran: 22 Dead, Hundreds Arrested Amid Mass Protests

HeadlineJan 02, 2018

In Iran, at least 22 people are dead and hundreds have been arrested, as authorities used tear gas and water cannons to quell the largest anti-government protests since 2009. The protests, which began last week and quickly spread to cities across Iran, are targeting high unemployment, income inequality and housing costs. Protesters have also targeted Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani. On Sunday, Rouhani said Iranians have the right to protest, but said violence would be met with a firm response.

President Hassan Rouhani: “I ask all the security forces, the police forces, who have not behaved in a violent way toward the people, I ask them to exercise their restraint so that nobody is hurt. However, at the same time, in order to preserve our country, our nation, our tranquility and peace, for all of this, we must be firm and act decisively.”

President Donald Trump responded to the protests, tweeting, “The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their 'pockets.' The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!” Trump’s tweets drew a rebuke from Iranian President Rouhani, who noted that Trump called Iran a “terrorist nation like few others” in a speech last year.

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