Hundreds of people took to the streets in Iran to demonstrate against the authorities' decision to raise the prices of basic foodstuffs, official media reported on Friday.
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The President of the Islamic Republic Ebrahim Raisi announced this week a series of measures to deal with economic difficulties, including the lifting of subsidies on wheat, and the increase in the prices of certain foodstuffs such as oil.
The announcement of this measure, which came into effect on Friday, has led to rallies in several cities across the country over the past two days, according to the Irna news agency.
More than twenty people were arrested in Dezful and Yasouj (southwest) where demonstrators called on the government to reverse its decision, according to the agency.
In Izeh, in the province of Khuzestan (southwest), people attacked shops and tried to burn down a mosque.
Rallies also took place in other Iranian cities as well as in Tehran province, Irna added.
Inflation around 40%
Iran's economy is suffering from harsh sanctions reimposed by the United States in 2018, after its unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 international nuclear deal. Inflation is hovering around 40%, according to official data.
On Monday, Ebrahim Raisi said the government would reform the subsidy system introduced by the previous administration in 2018, which covered several basic products.
The prices of bread, gasoline and medicines will remain unchanged, he assured.
To compensate for the price increase, allowances, of approximately 10 to 13 dollars, will be paid monthly for each member of households considered to have low incomes.
The announcement was followed by a rush to supermarkets to stock products, according to videos shared on social media and images broadcast by national television.
Oil prices nearly quadrupled with the president's announcement while those of eggs and chicken nearly doubled.
In recent months, many rallies have taken place across the country, with Iranians demanding better living conditions and higher wages.