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2 Killed in Iran as Official Says Protesters Will ‘Pay the Price’

“The spreading of violence, fear and terror will definitely be confronted,” he said. “The vigilance and intelligence of people has always led any plot to fail.”

Later on Sunday, state television said Iran would temporarily restrict access to some social media and messaging apps, like Instagram and the messaging app Telegram, to to “maintain peace.” On Saturday, Iran successfully pushed Telegram to close the account of the Iranian channel Amad News after government officials complained directly to the company’s chief executive that the channel was encouraging violence.

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What began as an economic protest turned violent on Saturday in Tehran. State news agencies showed footage of protesters attacking banks and municipal buildings across the nation. Credit Social Media, via Reuters

The unauthorized protests have challenged the authorities, with crowds turning revolutionary slogans against the government of the Islamic Republic, which took power following a revolution in 1979.

Protesters in Tehran and elsewhere have called for the resignation of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as witnesses have described crowds chanting “Death to the dictator” and “Clerics should get lost.”

Postings on social media showed what the posters said were protests in the city of Dorud, including bonfires in the street and graphic images of people with bloody wounds. At least one of the videos was verified by BBC Persian.

The semiofficial Mehr news agency of Iran quoted a local official as saying that two protesters in Dorud were killed during the demonstrations overnight, according to The Associated Press. There had been earlier reports of at least two protesters being shot in that city.

According to The Associated Press, Mehr quoted Habibollah Khojastepour, identified as the security deputy of the governor of Lorestan, the province where Dorud is located, as saying the two were killed in clashes during an illegal gathering on Saturday night.

“Two of our dear Dorodi citizens were killed,” he was quoted as saying, without explaining who killed them or how they died.

Travel restrictions and a media blackout have made it difficult to confirm the reports and postings on social media.

President Trump, who had tweeted as the protests spread, “The world is watching!” on Sunday doubled down on his criticism of the Iranian government. He posted on Twitter:

“The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”

Source: NYT > World

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