Iranian VP accuses opponents of planning anti-Rouhani protests

Iranian VP accuses opponents of planning anti-Rouhani protests

Protesters shouted slogans such as "death to Rouhani" and "death to the dictator", referring to Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

Kermanshah is the capital of the impoverished province of the same name.

Political rallies are rare in Iran, but demonstrations are often held over economic issues such as layoffs, nonpayment of salaries, and price hikes.

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Thousands of people also marched in protest in cities of Qom (central Iran), Hamedan (west), Isfahan (central Iran), Shiraz (southern Iran), Rasht, Sari and Qaemshahr (northern Iran), Qazvin (northwest of Tehran), Khorramshahr and Ahwaz (southwestern Iran), Khorramabad (western Iran), Quchan, Bojnourd, and Sabzevar (eastern Iran).

In social media footage, riot police were seen using water cannon and tear gas to disperse crowds.

Fars reported that protesters in Kermanshah chanted anti-government slogans such as "never mind Palestine, think about us", "death or freedom" and "political prisoners should be freed".

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The security deputy of Tehran's governor, Mohsen Hamedani, said that fewer than 50 people gathered at a public square in Tehran, and that a lot of them left after a police warning but a few made a decision to stay on.

Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, a Rohani ally, suggested that hard-line opponents of the president may have started the protests in Mashhad. He added that social movements that start on the streets don't always remain under the control of those that started them.

"Those who are behind such events will burn their own fingers".

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Addressing a gathering in Tehran Dec. 29, Iranian First Vice-President Es'haq Jahangiri said all indexes of the economy are in a proper situation, but admitted that the prices of some products have recently increased and it is the government's duty to correct the prices. Demonstrators reportedly gathered to protest rising prices in the country, alleged corruption in the government and Iran's involvement other in regional conflicts.

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