Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Nation & World

Iran says 12 demonstrators, 1 officer have been killed in nationwide protests

Washington Post

ISTANBUL, Turkey — Anti-government protests in Iran have turned increasingly violent with the deaths of 12 demonstrators and a police officer, raising the stakes as unrest on the streets has raged for five days and confounded leaders who have struggled to respond.

The protests have been stunning in their ferocity and geographic reach, spreading to far-flung towns and cities that are middle-class and working-class strongholds.

The demonstrators themselves appeared Monday to be leaderless, and their demands diffuse, ranging from better living conditions to more political freedoms and even an end to the Islamic Republic. Their chants and attacks on government buildings broke taboos in a system that brooks little dissent. The demonstrations were the boldest challenge to government authority since a pro-democracy revolt in 2009.

The prospect of a harsher response from security forces, whose brutality is notorious, raised fears of further violence. Iran has sent cash, weapons, and fighters to prop up proxies and allies from Syria to Lebanon and Gaza — and that, too, has become a focus of the protests. The country’s expensive foreign policy adventures were scorned as some demonstrators chanted, "Leave Syria, think about us!"

At least 10 people were killed overnight, in what state media said Monday were clashes between police and "armed protesters" who had attempted to infiltrate security outposts. The demonstrators were from provincial areas in the south and southwestern parts of the country, including both impoverished and oil-producing regions.

One police officer was killed and three others wounded by a gunman in the city of Najafabad, about 200 miles south of Tehran, according to state media reports.

Earlier, activists had said that two demonstrators were shot and killed Saturday during peaceful protests.

Videos circulated online of protesters fleeing tear gas and water cannons, while others confronted police. On Monday, demonstrators again gathered in Tehran, as well as an array of provincial cities, including Kermanshah in the west and Shiraz in central Iran, according to reports on social media. They chanted, "Death to the dictator!" — referring to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — and called on security forces to join them.

This brought a strong rebuke from the country’s judicial chief. "I demand all prosecutors across the country to get involved," said Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, the Associated Press reported. Their "approach should be strong," he said.

The unrest began Thursday in the northern city of Mashhad over price hikes and other economic woes. Iran’s economy had been battered by years of U.S. and international sanctions, which isolated the Islamic Republic for its nuclear program. Many of those sanctions were lifted as part of a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015, but few Iranians have benefited from the relief.

Iran’s economy has grown since the nuclear deal thanks to resumed oil exports — Iran is a major OPEC power — but growth in other sectors has sagged.

Inflation is on the rise and unemployment high, at an official rate of 11.7 percent. Youth unemployment is significantly higher, at 24.4 percent, according to the government-run Statistical Center of Iran.

In recent weeks, proposed price hikes for staples such as fuel angered many across the country.

President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate who has allied with reformists, has appealed for calm, saying that demonstrators have a right to protest and criticize the government but that they should refrain from violence. In a televised address Sunday, he acknowledged the government’s lack of transparency and endemic corruption, calling on state bodies to allow more "space for criticism."

On Monday, in a statement, he called the protests "an opportunity, not a threat." It was unclear whether his message would mollify the demonstrators.

President Donald Trump posted on Twitter that Iran "is failing at every level" and that repressed Iranians "are hungry for food & freedom." "Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted," Trump tweeted. "TIME FOR CHANGE!"

Comments
Trump criticizes rush to condemn Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi

Trump criticizes rush to condemn Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi

Trump criticizes rush to condemn Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi
Updated: 11 hours ago
Tip about missing Wisconsin girl being in Miami 'not credible', sheriff says

Tip about missing Wisconsin girl being in Miami 'not credible', sheriff says

A Wisconsin teenager who has been missing since her parents were found dead in their home isn't a runaway and investigators believe she's in danger, a sheriff said Tuesday.
Updated: 11 hours ago
Elizabeth Warren angers prominent Native Americans with politically fraught DNA test

Elizabeth Warren angers prominent Native Americans with politically fraught DNA test

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's release of a DNA test, which suggested a lineage to a distant Native American ancestor, has roiled the indigenous community frustrated about the seizure of cultural and social
Published: 10/16/18
Trump calls Stormy Daniels 'horseface,' cheers judge's dismissal of defamation suit

Trump calls Stormy Daniels 'horseface,' cheers judge's dismissal of defamation suit

President Donald Trump celebrated the dismissal of a defamation suit brought against him by adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, calling Daniels "horseface" on Tuesday and vowing to retaliate against he
Published: 10/16/18
Global warming to leave us crying in our costlier beer

Global warming to leave us crying in our costlier beer

WASHINGTON — Add beer to chocolate, coffee and wine as some of life's little pleasures that global warming will make scarcer and costlier, scientists say.Increasing bouts of extreme heat waves and drought will hurt production of barley, a key ...
Published: 10/16/18
All we know about the White House portrait of Trump drinking Diet Coke with Lincoln

All we know about the White House portrait of Trump drinking Diet Coke with Lincoln

A fantasy print of Donald Trump entertaining Abraham Lincoln while every other Republican president in history watches now hangs outside the Oval Office.
Published: 10/16/18
Idaho fish and game commissioner resigns amid criticism over African hunting photos

Idaho fish and game commissioner resigns amid criticism over African hunting photos

A fish and game commissioner in Idaho resigned Monday after he was sharply criticized over a mass email in which he described killing an array of African animals on a hunting trip and attached picture
Published: 10/16/18
Drugmakers to disclose prices for meds advertised on TV

Drugmakers to disclose prices for meds advertised on TV

TRENTON, N.J. — Drugmakers will start disclosing the prices for U.S. prescription drugs that are advertised on TV, but the Trump administration said the move announced Monday doesn’t go far enough. The prices won’t actually be shown in the TV commerc...
Published: 10/15/18
Did ‘rogue killers’ get Saudi writer?

Did ‘rogue killers’ get Saudi writer?

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump raised the possibility on Monday that "rogue killers" — and not the kingdom’s leaders — were behind the disappearance of a Saudi dissident journalist. He offered no evidence to support his theory.Trump also stepped...
Published: 10/15/18
A missing journalist’s Apple Watch could have recorded evidence of his torture and death, Turkish newspaper reports

A missing journalist’s Apple Watch could have recorded evidence of his torture and death, Turkish newspaper reports

ISTANBUL — Turkish officials have an audio recording of the alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi from the Apple Watch he wore when he walked into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago, a pro-government Turkish newspaper reported Sa...
Published: 10/13/18