- Published: Tuesday, 09 January 2018
By INU Staff
INU - The number of arrest reported in the anti-government protests in Iran, is far higher than the 450 people Iranian authorities have said were detained. US officials had put the number held at 1,000, but according to what one of the country's lawmakers claimed on Tuesday, some 3,700 people have been arrested.
Member of parliament Mahmoud Sadeghi said included in the 3,700 people who had been arrested, were 40 to 68 students. He added that, "due to the fact that several security organizations had made the arrests, it will take some time to give an accurate count," according to the Iranian parliament's news agency.
During a speech on Tuesday, commemorating protests against the Shah of Iran in 1978, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said "Revolution politically uprooted the enemy and now the enemy continues these attacks but always fails and cannot achieve its goals.” As reported by the semi-official MEHR News agency, he added, "This is due to our people's continued support. The solid people's stand will again tell the US, UK and those who live in London that you failed this time and will fail again.”
UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson told the British Parliament Tuesday that "it is vital that the people of Iran and government of Iran should understand that we in this country support right to peaceful demo within the law." He also urged the UK's "friends in the White House not to throw away" a nuclear deal with Iran that Trump has pledged to decertify.
It was later revealed that a 22-year-old protester died in prison. State-run Aftab News reported on Monday that Sina Ghanbari died in custody after being held in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison along with hundreds of other protesters.
According to the semiofficial Iranian Students' News Agency, The University of Tehran was working to track and secure the release of its students who had been detained.
On Sunday, the National Police spokesman, Saeed Montazer al-Mahdi, said that the majority of those detained had been released on bail, but that "the leaders of the disturbances are being held by the judiciary," according to the state-run Al-Alam News Agency.
The violent clashes claimed the lives of at least 21 people, as many young protesters rallied against President Hassan Rouhani's government, complaining of a stagnant economy, rampant corruption and rising fuel and food prices.
Iran's unemployment rate among those aged between 15 and 29 is well over 24%, according to official statistics and is said to be even higher among urban youth and women.
Washington has engaged in a fiery exchange of words with Tehran over US use of social media to encourage Iranians to protest. US President Trump has tweeted his criticism of the Iranian government and has encouraged the protests. Additionally, the US State Department openly announced that it was using its Facebook and Twitter accounts in Farsi to encourage anti-government demonstrations.
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