by WorldTribune Staff, December 31, 2017
At least two people were killed when Iranian security forces opened fire on demonstrators on Dec. 30 in a third consecutive day of anti-government protests in the Islamic Republic.
Posted images on social media appeared to show several bodies being carried away after protesters clashed with police in the western city of Dorud.
The “Iranian government should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves,” U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, warning that the “world is watching” the government’s response to the protests.
“The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism,” Trump tweeted.
“Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”
Demonstrators reportedly stormed the governor’s compound in the western city of Arak and started fires at government offices in Ahvaz, a city in the country’s southwest.
According to posts on social media, the protests continued for a fourth day on Dec. 31 with demonstrations in Teheran and other cities, including Sanandaj, Ilam, and Kermanshah.
The anti-government protests began on Dec. 28 in the northeastern city of Mashhad, largely over the rising cost of living, but quickly spread around the country and became more critical of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.
Authorities reportedly cut off some access to Telegram and Instagram in an effort to stop the spread of unrest.
Several dozen students at the University of Teheran protested at the campus gates on Dec. 30 and chanted “death to the dictator” in apparent reference to Khamenei.
Another popular chant by protesters is “No Gaza No Lebanon, My Life for Iran,” an expression of frustration that money is being spent on Iran’s foreign interventions around the Middle East instead of on domestic programs.
Iranian forces fired tear gas and made arrests and the protesters were eventually replaced by a crowd of pro-government students who chanted “death to the seditionists” as they took back control of the gates, according to a report by Telegraph.com.
Trump also posted two clips of his speech to the UN General Assembly in September in which he took aim at Iran.
“Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice,” he tweeted, quoting from the speech.