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Iran’s President Blames ‘Enemies’ For Massive Fuel Hike Protests

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that Iran and its people have defeated the conspiracies of its enemies and claimed victory in the nationwide protests in the country following a massive fuel price hike last week.

Last week Iran raised by 50 percent gasoline prices—which are some of the cheapest in the world—and introduced limits on gasoline purchases to help needy households as U.S. sanctions cripple the economy. 

The fuel price hike sparked protests across the country that have already claimed at least one victim, although footage from the protests suggests there may now be more, with some media reporting that as many as 36 may now be dead.

Speaking on Wednesday, Rouhani said, as carried by the official website of the Iranian president:

“The people of Iran passed another historic test and proved that despite economic problems and discontent they may have with the management of the country, they will never let enemies to take advantage of the situation.”

“The number of people who had taken to the streets was determined and it turned out that only a few hooligans were among them; but the hooligans were well organised and armed, acting on behalf of the regional reactionaries, the Zionists and Americans,” Rouhani added.

According to Amnesty International, more than 100 protesters are believed to have been killed as top Iranian officials gave the green light to crush protests.

Commenting on Amnesty’s statement, Alireza Miryousefi, head of Media office at the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, tweeted that “any casualty figures not confirmed by the government are speculative & not reliable, & in many cases part of a disinformation campaign waged against Iran from outside the country.”

“The baseless allegations and fabricated figures by biased Western entities do not shake government's determination in making prudent economic decisions while respecting human rights of its people including to freely exercise their right to protest in a peaceful environment,” Miryousefi said.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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