9 more people killed overnight as nationwide protests in Iran continue
- Author: Rogelio Becker Jan 02, 2018,
Jan 02, 2018, 10:37
A gunman killed the officer and wounded three others in the central city of Najafabad, according to Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency, bringing the total number of dead during the largest protests against the regime since 2009 to at least 13.
Iranian state television reported Tuesday that nine people were killed overnight: Six rioters were killed during an attack on a police station in the town of Qahdarijan; an 11-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man were killed in the town of Khomeinishahr; and a member of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard was killed in the town of Najafabad.
Despite the widening of the demonstrations on Monday, Ramadan Sharif, a spokesman for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), said that the police and internal security forces "fully control the situation in Tehran and other cities where street protests took place".
A classified memo circulated by Israel's Foreign Ministry assessing nationwide anti-government protests sweeping across Iran has reportedly determined that continued unrest has weakened the legitimacy of the Iranian regime and could threaten its long-term stability.
The European Union on Monday pushed Iran to guarantee the right to protest and separately British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said "the United Kingdom is watching events in Iran closely".
"At the moment, the protests do not constitute a threat to the survival of the regime, but they do weaken it and undermine its legitimacy, and they are likely to threaten its stability in the long term", it reportedly states.
Thursday's protests were followed by pro-government protests Saturday. Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested. The clashes were sparked off as protesters tried to steal guns, according to reports.
Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a small protest in Tehran's Enghelab Square on Sunday evening, according to unverified social media videos.
On Monday Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed to double efforts to resolve Iran's economic problems, unemployment and inflation, Fars agency reported.
"I demand all prosecutors across the country to get involved and the approach should be strong", he said. "Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted", Trump wrote in a tweet.
US President Donald Trump also voiced his support for the protesters, saying that the Iranian people were "hungry for food & for freedom".
The Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council described the protests as a "proxy war against the Iranian people".