ISTANBUL — Anti-government protests in Iran have turned increasingly violent with the deaths of 12 demonstrators and a police officer, raising the stakes as unrest on the streets has raged now for five days and confounded leaders who have struggled to respond.
The protests have been stunning in their ferocity and geographic reach, spreading to far-flung towns and cities that are strongholds of the middle and working classes.
The demonstrators themselves appeared Monday to be leaderless and their demands diffuse, ranging from better living conditions to more political freedoms and even an end to the Islamic republic. Their chants and attacks on government buildings broke taboos in a system that brooks little dissent. The demonstrations were the boldest challenge to government authority since a pro-democracy revolt in 2009.
The prospect of a harsher response from security forces, whose brutality is notorious, raised fears of further violence in a country buffeted by conflict elsewhere in the region. Iran has sent cash, weapons and fighters to prop up proxies and allies from Syria to Lebanon and Gaza — and that, too, has become a focus of the protests. The country’s expensive foreign policy adventures were scorned by some demonstrators who chanted, “Leave Syria, think about us!”
At least 10 people were killed Sunday night in what state media said were clashes between police and “armed protesters” who had attempted to infiltrate security outposts. The demonstrators were from provincial areas in the south and southwestern parts of the country, including both impoverished and oil-producing regions.
One police officer was killed and three others wounded by a gunman in the city of Najafabad, about 200 miles south of Tehran, according to state media reports.
Earlier, activists said two demonstrators were shot and killed Saturday during peaceful protests.
Videos circulated online of protesters fleeing tear gas and water cannons, while others confronted police. On Monday, demonstrators again gathered in Tehran, as well as in an array of provincial cities, including Kermanshah in the west and Shiraz in central Iran, according to reports on social media. They chanted “Death to the dictator!” — referring to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — and called on security forces to join them.
This brought a strong rebuke from the country’s judicial chief. “I demand all prosecutors across the country to get involved,” said Sadegh Larijani, the Associated Press reported. Their “approach should be strong,” he said.
“When it comes to regime survival, Khamenei calls the shots,” Cliff Kupchan, chairman of the political risk firm Eurasia Group, said in a briefing note. “And he’s got a lot of loyal and ruthless troops at his disposal.”
The unrest began Thursday in the northern city of Mashhad over price increases and other economic woes. Iran’s economy has been battered by years of U.S. and international sanctions, which isolated the Islamic republic for its nuclear program. Many of those sanctions were lifted as part of a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015, but few Iranians have benefited from the relief.
In contrast to the 2009 uprising — which challenged the reelection of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and was driven primarily by Tehran’s educated elite — the current protests have occurred throughout the country and in traditional government strongholds.
The pro-reform figures associated with the 2009 revolt, some of whom remain under house arrest, have been noticeably absent from the political scene since the new protests began. Demonstrators have refrained from calling for the release of those figures and some of Iran’s most well-known opposition leaders.
The “protesters have either become more radicalized in their demands and/or simply don’t belong to the generation that experienced the events of 2009 as adults,” Mohammad Ali Shabani, editor of Iran coverage at the online news portal Al-Monitor, wrote Sunday.
Iran’s economy has grown since the nuclear deal thanks to resumed oil exports — Iran is a major OPEC power — but growth outside the oil sector has sagged.
Inflation is on the rise and unemployment high, at an official rate of 11.7 percent. Youth unemployment is significantly higher, at 24.4 percent, according to the government-run Statistical Center of Iran.
Young Iranians are highly educated and more modern than previous generations, and they have grown frustrated by the political and economic constraints that have kept them from achieving better lifestyles.
“There is a wide and perhaps growing disconnect with political elites,” Shabani wrote.
Then, in recent weeks, proposed price increases for staples such as fuel angered many across the country.
The broad nature of the protests has perplexed Iran’s leaders, some of whom have recognized the demonstrators’ concerns but have called for swift action against those who break the law.
President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate who has allied with reformists, has appealed for calm, saying that demonstrators have a right to protest and criticize the government, but that they should refrain from violence. In a televised address Sunday, he acknowledged the government’s lack of transparency and endemic corruption, calling on state bodies to allow more “space for criticism.”
Monday, in a statement, he called the protests “an opportunity, not a threat.” It was unclear whether his message would mollify the demonstrators.
Also Monday, President Trump posted on Twitter that Iran “is failing at every level” and that repressed Iranians “are hungry for food & for freedom.”
“Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted,” Trump continued. “TIME FOR CHANGE!”
The protests “are very unlikely to result in a revolutionary tipping point for Iran,” Kupchan wrote.
What to Read Next
Diets do not work. The scientific evidence is clear as can be that cutting calories simply doesn’t lead to long-term weight loss or health gains. We suspect most dieters have realized this by now too. And yet, here they are again, setting the same
(NEW YORK) — A convicted murderer whose prison break captivated the nation says he uncovered a way to escape from another maximum-security facility in New York. But this time David Sweat said he detailed the plan involving a makeshift tool to corrections
Investing.com – Ripple, a cryptocurrency first established in 2012 has surpassed Ethereum to become the second most valuable cryptocurrency after bitcoin.Ripple’s market cap rose more than 50% on Friday, to a record $85bn. Its market value continued to climb over the weekend, peaking at over $100bn.Ripple’s surge knocked Ethereum into third place after bitcoin, with a market cap of $72bn.Bitcoin’s market cap is roughly $220bn.Ripple rose in value by more than 19,600% over the course of 2017. It began the year trading at around $0.006 and ended at $1.97.Ripple’s gains in 2017 outstripped the gains of Ethereum and bitcoin, which rose by roughly 9,000% and 1,400%, respectively.
Bitcoin is already having a bad year. For the first time since 2015, the cryptocurrency began a new year by tumbling, extending its slide from a record $19,511 reached on Dec. 18. The virtual coin traded at $13,440 as of 3:55 p.m. in New York, down 6.
A 16-year-old boy allegedly used a semi-automatic rifle to kill four people, including his father, mother and sister, inside their New Jersey home, with minutes to go until New Year’s Day, prosecutors said Monday. The suspect, whose identity has not been released, is accused of gunning down his three family members and another family friend, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a news release. Police arrived at the family’s Long Branch home after receiving a 911 call about gunshots Sunday at 11:43 p.m. They found the bodies of the suspect’s 44-year-old father Steven Kologi, 42-year-old mother Linda Kologi, 18-year-old sister Brittany Kologi, and a 70-year-old friend of the family, Mary Schultz.
Hopes of a sustained end of year rally fizzled out through the weekend, following Bitcoin Cash’s $2,888 high on Friday. At the time of writing, Bitcoin Cash was up just 0.37% to $2,368 and that’s coming off the back of Bitcoin’s demise from an early Friday $15,474.19 to Sunday’s $12,050 low. Bitcoin has managed to recover to $13,687.29 at the time of writing, but is still down on the day, limiting any material upside for Bitcoin Cash.
If you’ve taken on the task of mapping out your annual financial plan, you deserve a pat on the back. Now that you know what an annual financial plan is and how to make one, let’s recap the most important steps in the process. Check off each step that you’ve considered, even if your response was, “No, I don’t want to refinance my mortgage,” or “My credit cards are already paid off!” The idea is to make sure you’ve looked at the issue.
Citi analysts say that there is a 40% likelihood of Apple acquiring Netflix. Apple will be able to repatriate about $220 billion in cash to the US under the Trump tax cut. The company would need only one-third of that to snap up Netflix.
Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps vowed to crush one of the biggest shows of dissent against the government in years, as days of confrontations between demonstrators and security forces turned deadly in a western province. Two protesters were killed in Dorud in the province of Lorestan late Saturday during clashes with security forces, Habibollah Khojastehpour, deputy for political affairs for the province of Lorestan, said in an interview posted on the website of Iran’s state broadcaster. The protests, which began in the northeastern city of Mashhad on Thursday, present a serious challenge to President Hassan Rouhani and the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The S&P 500 offers a dividend yield of just 1.8%, and income-seeking investors can’t really turn to bonds, as treasury rates are near historic lows. Luckily, there are still some solid dividend stocks available that income investors can take advantage of. Keep reading to see why these Motley Fool investors recommend Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO), GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK), and 8point3 Energy Partners (NASDAQ: CAFD).
If you’re among the 23% of married retirees or the 43% of single retirees who rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income, then you likely qualify for the Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled — a tax credit that can save you thousands of dollars every year. For that matter, even retirees with other sources of income may qualify for this tax credit. You’ll also need to meet certain income limits to qualify for the credit.
Las Vegas welcomed 2018 with fireworks, big-ticket musical acts and unprecedented security in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. modern history just three months ago. Law enforcement officers kept a close eye Monday on the estimated 330,000 people who traveled from all over the U.S. and beyond to pack in the Las Vegas Strip and downtown’s Fremont Street. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department had every officer working throughout the weekend and was aided by the Nevada National Guard and federal agents.
Compass Group Plc Chief Executive Officer Richard Cousins and four members of his family were killed Sunday when their chartered sightseeing flight crashed north of Sydney. Dominic Blakemore, formerly the company’s chief operating officer for Europe, will succeed him effective today, Compass said in an emailed statement.
A $1,000 investment in Berkshire Hathaway stock in 1965 — the year Warren Buffett took control of the once-struggling New England textile mill — would have been worth $15.3 million at the end of 2016. Suffice to say, it’s worth your time to check out what stocks Berkshire Hathaway owns. Two of them worth considering right now are Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Restaurant Brands International (NYSE: QSR). Apple had a strong holiday quarter thanks to high demand for iPhone X. Image source: Apple.
Accompanied by first lady Melania Trump and son Barron, a tuxedoed Trump spoke to reporters as he entered the gilded ballroom at Mar-a-Lago. Guests gathered in the ballroom included senior White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Trump’s sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Earlier in the day, Trump capped 2017 with a video self-tribute touching on what he sees as the high points of his achievements and rhetoric from his first year in office.
South Korea on Tuesday offered talks with North Korea amid a standoff over its weapons programmes, a day after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he was open to negotiations but that his country would push ahead with “mass producing” nuclear warheads. The offer for high-level talks next Tuesday had been discussed with the United States, the South’s unification minister said, while a decision on whether to push back a massive joint military drill between South Korea and the United States until after the Winter Olympics was pending.
Investing.com – Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss – the brothers who alleged that Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) from them, own one of the largest Bitcoin portfolios in the world. After they won $65 million in a lawsuit against Facebook in 2011, the twins invested $11 million in Bitcoin. Back then, Bitcoin cost $120. The twins once bragged that they owned 1% of all Bitcoin, which amounts to approximately 1.5 million coins in all. They have reportedly not touched any of their holdings; they’ve just watched their wealth grow. Today, with a single Bitcoin valued at more than $15,000, the brothers’ Bitcoin investment is worth well over $1 billion. The brothers have launched the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange and also tried to create a Bitcoin ETF, but failed to get SEC approval. Perhaps now that Bitcoin futures has arrived, their ETF idea will get reconsidered and open the door for more institutional investing. Either way, with $1 billion in the digital bank, the brothers are the first Bitcoin Billionaires.
By Henning Gloystein and Dmitry Zhdannikov SINGAPORE/LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices posted their strongest opening to a year since 2014 on Tuesday, with crude rising to mid-2015 highs amid large anti-government rallies in Iran and ongoing supply cuts led by OPEC and Russia. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures traded flat at around $60.40 by 1200 GMT after hitting $60.74 earlier in the day, their highest since June 2015. “Growing unrest in Iran set the table for a bullish start to 2018,” the U.S.-based Schork Report said in a note to clients on Tuesday.
Sales were brisk in the shops lucky to score one of the roughly 100 state l