Iranian lawmaker says one killed during protest against rising prices

One person has been killed in a protest in southwestern Iran against a government decision to raise the cost of basic goods, a member of parliament told Iranian media on Saturday.

Authorities on Monday announced a series of measures to tackle mounting economic challenges, including changing a subsidy system and raising the prices of basic commodities, including cooking oil and dairy products.

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Hundreds took to the streets in a number of Iranian cities to protest the government’s decision, including in Tehran province, state news agency IRNA reported.

Iran is reeling under the effect of the sanctions the US reintroduced in 2018 — exacerbated by rising prices worldwide since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

“A resident of Andimeshk was killed during the recent demonstrations in Dezful in Khuzestan province,” local MP Ahmed Avai told the Iran Labor News Agency (ILNA).

The victim was not identified, nor were the circumstances of the death disclosed.

IRNA had reported Friday that more than 20 people had been arrested during the demonstrations in Dezful and Yasuj further east, but made no mention of any casualties.

In the city of Izeh, also in Khuzestan, a number of people are said to have attacked shops and set a mosque on fire.

Izeh’s imam denounced the “insult to Islam, the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad,” IRNA said.

On Saturday, Izeh MP Abdollah Izadpanah told ILNA that three youths had been arrested for “throwing rocks at a mosque”.

After the announcement of the new economic measures, people rushed to supermarkets to stock up on goods before the price hikes took effect on Friday, according to social media images broadcast on state television.

Iran has seen several waves of protests over living conditions in recent years, most notably in 2019 following a rise in fuel prices.

In recent months, teachers have successively staged demonstrations calling for faster reforms that would make their pay more commensurate with their experience and performance.

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