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IRAN’S communist party blamed “agent provocateurs” of the state yesterday for killings attributed to anti-government protesters
Navid Shomali, the Tudeh Party representative in Britain, said nine deaths overnight were part of attempts to justify a “massive crackdown on the protest movement.”
Iranian media reported that six people were killed overnight when rioters attacked a police station in the town of Qahdarijan in central Isfahan province in a bid to seize guns.
Also in Isfahan, snipers armed with hunting rifles killed two civilians, including an 11-year-old boy, in Khomeinishahr and a Revolutionary Guard soldier in Najafabad.
The latest bloodshed brought the death toll to 21, while Tehran deputy governor Ali Asghar Nasserbakht said around 450 people had been arrested.
“Reports on state television and by the regime’s official media today — that some of those killed by shots fired by people from inside the demonstrations — are not credible,” Mr Shomali said.
“As usual, the regime is trying to fabricate a justification for bringing out its storm troopers to suppress the demonstrations and force the protesters to leave the streets.”
The Tudeh Party urged “vigilance against any attempt by the regime’s security forces and agents to justify their criminal plans through the despicable actions of undercover agents and agent provocateurs,” said Mr Shomali.
The protests began over Christmas after cuts in food and fuel subsidies ordered by President Hassan Rouhani’s government caused sharp price rises. However, they quickly moved onto demanding the overthrow of the theocratic regime.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused his country’s enemies yesterday of using “money, weapons, politics and intelligence apparatuses to create problems for the Islamic system.”
US President Donald Trump played into the regime’s hands by reiterating Washington’s support for the protests, tweeting: “The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime.”
“The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights,” he wrote, adding: “The US is watching.”
The Tudeh Party condemned Mr Trump’s statements and those of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Saudi Arabian monarchy as attempts to discredit the protest movement’s “genuine and justifiable roots and hence provide the regime with a suitable justification for suppressing the popular protests.”
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