Iran racked by protests after massive gas price hike
Protests broke out throughout Iran Saturday after the government moved to effectively hike the price of gasoline by 50 percent overnight.
Angry protesters parked cars in the streets to block traffic in more than a dozen cities, and crowds numbering in the thousands marched throughout the country, many chanting, “Down with the dictator” and other anti-government slogans.
Some shouted, “The enemy is here!” a reference to the government’s continued vilification of the US.
Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad tweeted a video of protesters setting fire to a statue of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, in Shahriyar, a city in Tehran province.
President Hassan Rouhani’s decision at midnight Friday to cut gasoline subsidies for the poor sparked the outcry, the Associated Press reported. Though still among the cheapest in the world, Iran’s gas prices rose to about 50 cents per gallon, up 50 percent from the day before, even as the country suffers from the impact of US sanctions.