MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. Iranian security forces have arrested nearly 180 most active leaders of protests that hit the country over the past days, Fars news agency reported on Sunday citing officials.
These individuals are accused of "attacks on state buildings, arsons, attacks on police stations and military facilities, campaigning to involve citizens in antigovernment events." A security official noted that an effort of identifying and detaining public order violators was underway.
Protests hit a number of cities across Iran after a government regulation was published on November 15 on doubling fuel prices from 15,000 rials ($0.09) to 30,000 rials ($0.2) per liter. A discount price for fuel for those who have quotas also grew 50% (to 15,000 rials). Under the new rules, car owners can buy up to 60 liters of petrol per month at this price, while bikers can purchase 25 liters. Taxi drivers will have a quota of 400 liters.
The protesters clashed with police, setting on fire bank offices and petrol stations. Riots were reported in a hundred of Iranian settlements. According to local and Western media reports, between 12 and 30 people were killed and dozens of others were injured. The Iranian authorities shut off the Internet in the country, allowing access only to certain online services.