RFL/RE – Iranian officials are expected to meet as the death toll continues to rise from antigovernment protests that pose the biggest challenge to the authorities since violent demonstrations erupted after a disputed election handed Mahmud Ahmadinejad a second presidential term in 2009.
Iranian state TV reported on January 1 that at least 10 people had been killed the previous night as the unrest, sparked by rising costs of basic food supplies such as eggs and poultry, entered a fifth day.
Authorities have attempted to quell the uprising, which has been marked by crowds of hundreds of younger Iranians chanting antigovernment slogans and ripping up posters of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Islamic republic’s supreme leader, with strong warnings and by blocking popular social-media applications and disrupting some Internet services.
The broadcaster gave no details on the most recent fatalities but said some armed protesters tried to take over some police stations and military bases but “faced serious resistance from security forces.”
The semiofficial ILNA news agency quoted Hedayat Allah Khademi, a local member of parliament, confirmed on January 1 that two people were shot dead during protests the previous night.