Iranian riot police dispersed protesters shouting anti-government slogans in the western city of Kermanshah on Friday, as protests against corruption and rising prices spread to the capital Tehran.
The outbreak of regional unrest reflects growing discontent with the government, as well as concern over the Islamic republic’s costly involvement in regional conflicts such as Syria and Iraq.
About 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.
An official said a few protesters were arrested in Tehran, and videos posted on social media showed demonstrations in a number of the country’s leading cities, which if verified would be the largest wave of protests in Iran since 2009.
Mohsen Nasj Hamadani, deputy security chief in Tehran province, said about 50 people had rallied in a Tehran square and most left after being asked by police, but a few who refused were “temporarily detained”, the ILNA news agency reported.
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