Hojatoleslam Mohammad Jafar Montazeri

Iran moves to deal with main instigators of recent riots

Press TV – Iran’s Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri says preliminary examinations of detained individuals in recent riots will be finished in the next 48 hours.

“Those determined to be innocent will be released as soon as possible, however, those who have committed crimes and have numerous infractions will be swiftly categorized [for further criminal procedures],” he said upon visiting a central prison complex in Tehran.

Parviz Tavassolizadeh, Kermanshah province’s judiciary chief, said rioters in the province, provoking violence on the pretext of protesting a recent gasoline price hike, were armed and had engaged in shootouts with security forces.

“All the forces of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the Basij voluntary forces, the Intelligence Ministry, police, and the army took part actively in controlling the situation,” Tavassolizadeh said.

“Insecurity is the biggest problem for any country. These [violent rioters] are thugs. Such acts are not the work of ordinary people,” he added.

Tavassolizadeh said one of the main instigators of the violence, a well-known criminal in the province, had been identified and killed following the clashes.

IRGC commander in Kermanshah, Bahman Reyhani, also said the rioters burned public property and confronted security forces.

Rehyani added that the provocations in the province had been carried out by individuals affiliated to terrorist groups and America’s intelligence services.

The IRGC commander said the provocateurs failed to reach their objectives and lost momentum after being widely rejected by the general populace early on.

Rehyani added that a number of the main riot leaders had been detained, adding that “those who cause disorder will be dealt with seriously and the arrests will continue”.

Last Friday, the government raised Iran’s extremely cheap gasoline prices in order to moderate the national consumption rate, which stands at 110 million liters per day, 40 million liters above the maximum domestic requirement.

The government also announced a number of aid and subsidiary programs to protect vulnerable households from the adverse affects of the measure.

The price reform, required by Iranian legislature and essential as US-imposed sanctions seek to deplete Iran’s budgetary resources, had been long delayed due to concerns regarding the move’s probable backlash.

The measure’s adoption prompted initially peaceful protests, but riotous elements, abusing the situation, quickly entered the scene, destroying public property, setting ablaze banks and gas stations among other facilities, and opening fire on people and security forces.