Price hikes, economic problems reason behind protests: Iranian Cleric

Tasnim – The secretary of Iran’s Guardian Council (GC), Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, said high prices and economic problems in the country led to the recent civil protests.

Speaking at a meeting in Tehran with the members of the Headquarters of Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, Jannati said the recent riots in the country are among the vices rooted in the failure to address other vices that led to the economic problems.

He further deplored the mingling of some outlaws with the people protesting against high prices and economic problems.

The outlaws’ role was such that the country’s enemies, including some US officials, have voiced their support for the protests, said Jannati.

Some cities in Iran have been scenes of demonstrations in the past days after prices of several staples rose by up to 40 percent.

During the rallies, people called on the government to help control rising food prices and inflation, but some opportunists attempted to turn the situation ugly and materialize their vested interest at the cost of social security.

The US president also sided with the opportunists, tweeting, “…Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including the right to express themselves. The world is watching!”

This is while according to Article 27 of the Iranian Constitution, “public gatherings and marches are allowed so long as the participants do not carry arms and are not in violation of the fundamental principles of Islam.”

Iranian officials maintain that peaceful protests are the right of every citizen as long as the rallies comply with the legal conditions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani began his second term in office in August, with the country’s economic issues high on his agenda.

Rouhani’s administration has managed to reduce the inflation rate, but it still faces many economic challenges.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has said economic issues were the country’s top priority, urging Iranian officials to make relentless efforts to solve problems facing the people, including unemployment among the youth.

“Economy must be the top priority of all members and sectors of the government,” the Leader said in a meeting with President Rouhani and the members of his administration in August.

In a speech on Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei once again called on officials to pursue the Resistance Economy with determination in order to address “high prices, inflation and recession.”