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POST TIME: 21 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Protest-hit Iran says ‘enemy conspiracy’ defeated
AFP, Tehran

Protest-hit Iran says ‘enemy conspiracy’ defeated

Iranian mourners attend the funeral of Morteza Ebrahimi, a commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, who was killed in violent demonstrations that erupted across Iran last week against a surprise petrol price hike yesterday in the central Iranian city of Shahriar. AFP Photo

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said yesterday the country’s people had defeated an “enemy conspiracy” behind a wave of violent street protests and were celebrating their victory.

He blamed the days of unrest on “armed anarchists” who took to the streets “based on a plot that the region’s reactionary, the Zionists and Americans had hatched,” referring to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US. The demonstrations erupted in the sanctions-hit Islamic republic on Friday after an announcement the price of petrol would be raised by as much as 200 percent with immediate effect.

Motorists blocked major roads in Tehran before the unrest spread rapidly to at least 40 urban centres, with petrol pumps torched, police stations attacked and shops looted.

Officials have confirmed five deaths, including of three security personnel stabbed by “rioters”. Thousands of mourners chanted “Death to America” at the funeral procession Wednesday for one of those killed, a Revolutionary Guard commander, in Shahriar, west of Tehran.