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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Iran: 22 arrested in protest against price hikes

TEHRAN, Iran ( Associated Press) — Iranian authorities have arrested at least 22 people in protests against a sudden rise in the price of subsidized staple foods in two southern cities, state media reported Friday.

The arrests come after Tehran announced this week a rise of up to 300% in the cost of cooking oil, chicken, eggs and milk, amid a general increase in prices throughout the Middle East due to disruptions in the global supply chain and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, one of the world’s leading food exporters.

According to state news agency IRNA, 15 people were arrested overnight in the southwestern city of Dezful in Khuzestan province and seven more in Yasuj in the southern Kohgiluyeh-Boyerahmad region.

Another 200 people gathered in Andimeshk, another city in Khuzestan, where a firefighter was injured after protesters threw stones at police and firefighters, IRNA added.

The situation had calmed down in all areas by Friday, the agency said, publishing photos of President Ebrahim Raisi listening to shoppers’ concerns on visits to supermarkets in Tehran.

Before the protests, the activist group NetBlocks.org said internet access problems were reported across the country as the government braced for possible unrest.

Images circulating on social media showed several more protests in Khuzestan, some of which turned violent as protesters burned tires in the street and police fired tear gas to disperse them. The Associated Press could not immediately verify the authenticity of the videos.

Iran imports half of its cooking oil from Ukraine, where the war has prevented many farmers from accessing crops, and almost half of its wheat from Russia. Smuggling of highly subsidized Iranian bread to neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan has skyrocketed as famine spreads across the region.

The drought is wreaking havoc on the Iranian economy, and Western sanctions on its nuclear program have caused further difficulties. Inflation has soared to almost 40% and is at its highest level since 1994. Youth unemployment is high and around 30% of households live below the poverty line, according to the National Center for Statistics.

The memory of the fuel price increase in November 2019 is still fresh. Then widespread protests, the most violent since the creation of the Islamic Republic in 1979, shook the entire country.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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