Iranian MP claims man was killed during protest against price hikes

One person was killed during a protest in southwestern Iran against a government decision to raise the cost of basic commodities, a lawmaker told Iranian media on Saturday.

Authorities on Monday announced a series of measures to deal with growing economic challenges, such as modifying a subsidy system and raising the prices of basic commodities, including cooking oil and dairy products.

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Hundreds of people took to the streets in several Iranian cities to protest the government’s decision, including in Tehran province, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Iran is reeling from sanctions reimposed by the United States in 2018, exacerbated by rising prices around the world since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February.

“A resident of Andimeshk was killed during the recent rallies in Dezful in Khuzestan province,” local MP Ahmed Avai told the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA).

The victim has not been identified and the circumstances of the death have not been revealed.

IRNA had reported on Friday that more than 20 people had been arrested during protests in Dezful and Yasuj further east, but made no mention of casualties.

In the city of Izeh, also in Khuzestan, several people reportedly attacked shops and set fire to a mosque.

The Imam of Izeh denounced “the insult against Islam, the Koran and the Prophet Muhammad”, IRNA said.

On Saturday, Izeh MP Abdollah Izadpanah told ILNA that three youths had been arrested for “throwing stones at a mosque”.

Following the announcement of the new economic measures, people rushed to supermarkets to stock up before the price hikes took effect on Friday, according to social media footage shown on state television.

Iran has seen several waves of protests over living conditions in recent years, including in 2019 after a fuel price hike.

In recent months, teachers have staged successive protests demanding the acceleration of reforms that would see their salaries better reflect their experience and performance.

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