Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has defended the rationing and rising cost of petrol and condemned the protests. "The political leadership of the country has made a technical decision that must logically be implemented," said Chamenei.
Although he understands that some people are angry about this decision. But damage and arson are the work of troublemakers who are controlled by foreign countries. "Iran's counterrevolution and enemies have always supported sabotage and security breaches and will continue to do so," said Khamenei, who has the final say in all strategic matters.
Because of the ongoing economic crisis, the Iranian government had rationed gasoline on Friday night while increasing fuel prices. The decision triggered violent protests in several Iranian cities. Demonstrators also set fire to gas stations and public facilities. At least one person has died, the circumstances of the death are still unclear.
Internet access "limited"
Information about the current situation was initially unavailable, as most people in the country had lost access to the Internet since Saturday afternoon. At first, reports of further deaths, injuries and arrests could not be checked. According to the Telecommunications Ministry, the Internet has been "limited" for 24 hours as mandated by the National Security Council.
More than 40 protesters have been arrested in protests in central Iran. The public prosecutor of the city of Jasd accused those arrested of wanting to use the protests for "sabotage". None of them came from Jasd, according to the prosecutor, according to the news agency Mehr.
In a special session, the Iranian parliament will discuss this development this Sunday. Originally, Parliament wanted to force a withdrawal of the government's decision to ration and price up petrol. According to media reports, this was rejected. MEPs now want to discuss how to prevent the government's decision from leading to another wave of inflation in the country.
The price of gas is considered the "mother of all inflation" in Iran, because after every price increase everything in the country became more expensive. For some time now, President Hassan Rohani's government has wanted to increase gasoline prices again, but has kept postponing them for fear of worsening inflation - and nationwide protests. The Iranians can not and do not want to accept that in an oil-rich country, which is also the world's fourth-largest oil producer, gasoline is rationed and becomes more and more expensive.