Five things to know about the Iranian protests

Dianna Christensen
January 1, 2018

The protests have since attracted global attention, and footage of the action has been shared hundreds of thousands of time on social media.

The "temporary" restrictions on the apps Telegram and Instagram were imposed to "maintain tranquillity", state news agency Irib reports.

"These protests are driven by the lower levels of society who have been hit by major economic problems, particularly losing their money when credit institutions collapsed", said Payam Parhiz, editor in chief of reformist media network Nazar, which first broke news of the Mashhad protests.

The Iranian government did not immediately comment.

Social media has been exploited by protesters over other means of communication to share information about demonstrations owing to the country's tight media control.

Some videos showed protesters chanting "Death to the dictator!" and "Death to [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani".

The protests began in Mashhad against high living costs and the struggling economy before spreading quickly to other areas and turning against the Islamic regime as a whole.

As the demonstrations escalated, pro-government protesters flooded the streets on Saturday to counter the anti-corruption activists.


Rouhani also criticized U.S. President Donald Trump over his tweets about the protest, saying he "has forgotten that he had called Iranian people "terrorists" a few months ago".

The protests moved from outer cities into Iran's capital city Tehran.

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It also apparently forced state television to break its silence about the unrest, acknowledging Saturday that it hadn't reported on the protests on orders from security officials.

"Canada will continue to support the fundamental rights of Iranians, including the right to freedom of expression", the statement added.

But Iranian officials and state media added that citizens had the right to protest and have their voices heard on social issues.

A semi-official news agency in Iran has quoted a government official as saying two protesters were killed at a rally overnight.

There were outbreaks of clashes in several cities on Saturday and two protesters died of gunshot wounds in the western city of Dorud.

One Iranian, who requested anonymity, told Reuters there was a heavy police presence in Tehran.

Telegram's CEO previously said the app had been blocked for the majority of Iranians.

The Iranian government is denying responsibility for the deaths and unrest.


"No shots were fired by the police and security forces".

The largest protests to strike Iran in almost a decade continued unabated Sunday, despite a government move to block access to Instagram and a popular messaging app used by activists to organize, with even President Hassan Rouhani acknowledging the public's anger over the Islamic Republic's flagging economy.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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