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Iran: Protests over rising food costs reach Tehran

TEHRAN, IRAN - JANUARY 03: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi attends a vigil marking the second anniversary of killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a US drone attack at at Imam Khomeini Mosalla in Tehran, Iran on January 03, 2022. ( Fatemeh Bahrami - Anadolu Agency )
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran on 3 January 2022 [Fatemeh Bahrami /Anadolu Agency]

Anti-government protests sparked by rising food prices in Iran have spread to at least six provinces including the capital, Tehran.

Earlier this month, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi approved subsidy reforms aimed at controlling commodity prices in a bid to mitigate the impact of rising global wheat prices and US sanctions on the Iranian economy.

The move caused a significant increase in flour prices, while the government raised the prices of some basic commodities such as cooking oil and dairy products, according to Reuters.

Video clips shared on social media showed large crowds taking to the streets in the southwestern province of Khuzestan to protest the price hike.

By the beginning of the week, the protests spread to other provinces, including Isfahan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari before reaching the capital, Tehran.

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Other videos showed protesters chanting "Down with my president" and "Down with the dictator".

Last Saturday, IRNA news agency quoted Ahmad Avaei, a member of parliament from the city of Dezful in southwestern Khuzestan province, as saying that "a person from Andimeshk has died during the recent gatherings in Dezful" without naming the individual or giving additional details about the circumstances of his death.

Last Friday, IRNA reported that more than 20 protesters had been arrested in the southwestern city of Dezful in Khuzestan province, as well as in the city of Yasuj in Kohgiluyeh-Boyerahmad Province in the south.

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