TEHRAN (Iran News) – Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli says 731 banks and 70 gas stations were set ablaze or damaged during the recent unrest in the country. “731 banks were torched with fire, among other damages of recent unrest,” Rahmani Fazli said on Tuesday evening on state TV. “Also, 140 public places, 70 gas […]
TEHRAN (Iran News) – Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli says 731 banks and 70 gas stations were set ablaze or damaged during the recent unrest in the country.
“731 banks were torched with fire, among other damages of recent unrest,” Rahmani Fazli said on Tuesday evening on state TV.
“Also, 140 public places, 70 gas stations, and 9 religious centers and burned 307 automobiles and 1076 motorcycles are among damages of recent unrest,” he added.
The minister acknowledged that some questions have been raised following the gasoline price hike “which we should respond to.”
“All governments which are a manifestation of their people’s vote want well-being for the people, especially our country which is a democracy,” he remarked.
Protests erupted in Iran on November 15 after the government announced an increase in the price of gasoline, a subsidized commodity that is still cheaper in Iran than other countries in the world.
The proceeds from the price increase are paid in the form of cash subsidies to 60 million Iranians, who account for about 75 percent of the population.
The rationed gasoline, which is 60 liters per month, is priced 1500 tomans (35 cents) and any amount beyond that is 3000 tomans (70 cents).
The calculation is based on the official rate of 4200 tomans per dollar. However, the value of the dollar, due to the U.S. president’s strategy of “maximum pressure” against Iran, is almost 2.5 times higher in the free market.
He said the crisis only began after the foreign-based Persian media entered the stage and incited people by broadcasting footages of other protests to show that the country is in turmoil.
To control the situation, Iran blocked access to the internet for days.
The minister commented on the internet blackout, saying, “When the number of arsons and destructions increased, we were forced to shut down the internet temporarily.”
He also said the Iranian authorities are well aware of the damage caused by the internet blackout but had no other choice.
“Protest is different from riot and the Islamic Republic tolerates peaceful protests,” he said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a statement on Friday blacklisting Iran’s ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi for what it called his role in “widescale internet censorship.”
However, Iranian people’s access to the internet has been restored to a great extent.
- source : tehrantimes, irannews