Death toll jumps In Iran protests
January 2, 2018 -- Six days of anti-government protests across Iran -- the largest since a disputed presidential election in 2009 -- have left at least 22 people dead. Iranian police have arrested 450 demonstrators in the capital, Tehran.
Thousands of Iranians hit the streets Thursday in the northeastern cities of Mashhad and Kashmar to protest rising prices and corruption among government officials.
The location of the outbreak of protests is significant. Mashhad is a stronghold for Iran’s political conservatives and home of the Shrine of Imam Reza, the country’s holiest shrine, administered by hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi.
Raisi stood against Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in last year’s presidential election. Mashhad is also the hometown of the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Protestors directed their anger against Khamenei. Video posted on social media showed crowds of people chanting “Death to the dictator!”