The outbreak of regional unrest reflects growing discontent over rising prices and alleged corruption, as well as concern over the Islamic Republic’s costly involvement in regional conflicts such as Syria and IraqAbout 300 demonstrators gathered after what Fars called a “call by the anti-revolution” and shouted “political prisoners should be freed” and “freedom or death”, while destroying some public property. Fars did not name any opposition groups
The protests in Kermanshah, the main city in a region where an earthquake killed over 600 people in November, came a day after hundreds rallied in Iran’s second largest city Mashhad to protest against high prices and shout anti-government slogan Videos posted on social media showed demonstrators yelling, “The people are begging, the clerics act like God”.
Police arrested 52 people in Thursday’s protests, Fars quoted a judicial official as saying in Mashhad, one of the holiest places in Shi‘ite Islam.
In social media footage, riot police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse crowds.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, saluted the heroic people of Kermanshah and other cities who rose up today with the slogans “death or freedom”, “death to Rouhani”, “death to the dictator”, and “political prisoners must be freed”, and protested against high prices, poverty and corruption. She said, “Yesterday Mashhad, today Kermanshah, and tomorrow throughout Iran; this uprising has tolled the death knell for the overthrow of the totally corrupt dictatorship of the mullahs, and is the rise of democracy, justice and popular sovereignty.
Mrs. Rajavi called on all the people, especially the youth and women throughout the country, to join the “No to High Prices” uprising, saying that “the corrupt dictatorship of the mullahs will undoubtedly fail against your national unity and solidarity, resistance and continuity of your rightful uprisings.”
She added that the four decade record of the mullahs’ rule has been nothing but inflation, poverty and corruption, torture and execution, killings and aggression. The bulk of the people’s wealth, including the money released in the nuclear deal, is either spent on repression and export of terrorism and war, or is plundered by the regime’s leaders. The overthrow of the religious fascism is the first step to get out of the crisis that is intensifying every day.
She said that the mullahs’ regime has no future; investment on it is doomed to failure, and it is time for the international community to not tie their fate to this regime and recognize the Iranian people Resistance to overthrow that regime.