Iran Admits to Deaths of ‘Rioters’ in Recent Price-hike Unrest
Iranian state television on Tuesday said that authorities had killed an unspecified number of “rioters” during several days of protests that broke out in mid-November following news of surprise price-hikes for gasoline due to reduced subsidies. A report described the dead as “rioters who have attacked sensitive or military centers with firearms or knives, or have taken hostages….” It added that others died, including security forces and bystanders, but did not assign responsibility. This was the first official Iranian acknowledgement of deaths during the protests. The rights group Amnesty International has placed the death toll at a minimum of 208, though other watchdog groups have cited numbers far higher. Also on Tuesday, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said an unspecified number of people had been arrested on university campuses for planning anti-state activities to take place this Saturday, the country’s annual student day.