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18 Nov, 2019 19:05

Iran says ‘decisive’ action will be taken if riots continue, warns US against fueling tensions within the country

Iran says ‘decisive’ action will be taken if riots continue, warns US against fueling tensions within the country

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has warned it will quell public disturbances “decisively” if the riots that gripped the country following fuel price hikes continue.

Any actions that “foment insecurity” or threaten the “calm and tranquility” of Iranian society “will be dealt with decisively,” the IRGC said in a Monday statement published by the local media. The powerful security force did not further elaborate on what exact measures would be taken.

Yet, according to the Iranian media, up to 150 people were arrested by the Guards in the Alborz province located west of the Iranian capital of Tehran. The IRGC intelligence service identified those arrested as ringleaders of rioting groups and “sabotage teams” that sought to take advantage of the public uproar and sow discord as well as damage property.

Also on rt.com Officer killed, police stations STORMED by protesters amid anti-fuel hike rallies in Iran

Some of those arrested confessed to working for some “outside forces,” the IGRC said. The Alborz province saw some of the most heated clashes over the past weekend, including an attack on a local transport police headquarters by an angry mob that attempted to set the building on fire.

The news came as Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani accused Washington of stirring up tensions in the Islamic Republic.The US is interested in nothing other but fueling unrest in Iran, Larijani claimed, accusing the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of encouraging the rioters.

“He [Pompeo] openly supports immolation of the Iranian people’s properties … while calling it defending the Iranian people,” the MP said.

Pompeo indeed tweeted at the weekend that the US “stands with” the people of Iran while retweeting his post from last year praising Iranians for “not staying silent about their government’s abuses.”

The protests in Iran were triggered by a twofold increase in gasoline prices introduced by the government to accumulate additional funds they said would be used to help the poor.

The move was not well received by many Iranians, who first took to the streets in several cities on Friday. The protests were initially largely peaceful but soon escalated into vandalism and clashes with police, leading to several people, including a police officer, being killed. Tehran blamed the escalation on "hooligans" and provocators.

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