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Hundreds Of Iranians Protest High Prices In Northeastern City Of Mashhad

Iranians In Eastern Cities Protest Over Economic Troubles
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Hundreds of Iranians protested in the northeastern city of Mashhad against the rising cost of food and other essentials, with local authorities saying an unspecified number of people had been arrested.

Social-media networks reported that up to several thousand people took part in the December 28 demonstrations in Iran’s second-largest city, with many shouting slogans against Iranian President Hassan Rohani.

Videos posted online showed a crowd in Mashhad chanting "Death to the dictator" and "Death to Rohani," with police using water cannons to push back the crowds.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency quoted Mohammad Rahim Norouzian, the Mashhad governor, as saying there was an illegal "No To High Prices" gathering in the city.

Police confronted the "illegal" protest "with tolerance," Norouzian said, adding that the authorities arrested a number of people who intended to destroy public property, without providing details.

Prices on many essential products, including eggs, have increased up to 40 percent in recent days. Farmers have blamed the hikes on higher prices for imported feed.

According to Iran’s Central Bank, inflation in the country is running at about 10 percent.

The semiofficial Ilna news agency reported there were smaller protests in Neyshabour, Kashmar, Yazd, and Shahroud.

Based on reports by RFE/RL's Radio Farda, AP, Reuters, BBC, and dpa