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Iranians Hold Massive Anti-rioting Rallies in Several Cities

Iranians Hold Massive Anti-rioting Rallies in Several Cities
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By Staff, Agencies

Iranians took to the streets across at least three major Iranian provinces to denounce the recent acts of rioting and vandalism, which have hit several cities following a wave of protests against a government decision to increase gasoline prices.

The rallies were held during Monday and Tuesday in the northwestern East Azerbaijan and Zanjan Provinces as well as the southwestern province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Mehr News Agency reported.

The government raised the prices last week in order to moderate the national consumption rate, which stands at 110 million liters, 40 million liters above the maximum domestic requirement.

The move prompted some peaceful protests, but anarchists and agitators sought to abuse the situation by destroying public property and setting ablaze banks and gas stations among other facilities.

The pro-government rallies were held days after Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei voiced support for the decision to raise the prices, and warned that the peaceful protests could be tainted by violence orchestrated by certain elements.

The Iranian administration and military issued a stern warning, asserting that those seeking to cause unrest would be dealt with decisively.

The demonstrators on Tuesday distanced themselves from the rioters and expressed their resentment at the foreign forces openly backing the anarchists.

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo voiced outright support for the acts of violence, reiterating Washington’s claim that “the United States is with you.”

Various Iranian officials have condemned the remarks as reprehensible and duplicitous.

The rallies in Tabriz were launched from the city’s Prayer Grounds and led the participants to the central Sa’at Square. The demonstrators shouted such slogans as “Protest is the people’s right, [but] disturbance is the enemy’s doing,” “Submitting to the Leader is the only road to salvation,” “The US be ashamed [of yourself], abandon [your] intrigue.”

Zanjan’s capital of the same name saw a similar display of popular outrage at agitation and unrest.

In Shahr-e Kord, the capital of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari’s Province, people gathered at the city’s Imam Khomeini Grand Prayer Grounds to condemn the riotous activities.

The Islamic Propagation Coordination Council in the northeastern province of Semnan, meanwhile, said the province’s capital Semnan and its city of Shahroud were also slated to host similar rallies over Thursday and Saturday.

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