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IRGC Blames ‘Some’ Iranian Neighbours for Staging ‘Acts of Mischief’ During Petrol Price Hike Riots

© REUTERS / WANA NEWS AGENCYRiot police tries to disperse people as they protest on a highway against increased gas price in Tehran, Iran November 16, 2019
Riot police tries to disperse people as they protest on a highway against increased gas price in Tehran, Iran November 16, 2019 - Sputnik International
Earlier this month, Iran’s state-owned National Oil Company increased petrol prices by up to 50 percent, in a move that caused violent protests across the Islamic Republic, where dozens were detained over acts of vandalism and attacks on police officers.

Brigadier General Ali Fadavi, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)’s second-in-command, has condemned unfriendly actions by some neighbouring countries for protests over petrol price hikes in the country earlier in November.

“During recent riots, some of our neighbours acted against [good] neighbourly relations and the stipulations of Islam and committed acts of mischief. We advise [those] neighbours to repent”, he told a group of female Basij militia members in Tehran on Sunday as cited by Press TV. He did not elaborate.

Fadavi promised to respond in kind to what he described as enemies' moves in the recent riots, adding, “if we wanted to make use of various capabilities of the Islamic Revolution, we were able to meddle with the most trivial issues of any country, but we will not do so because Islam does not allow that.”

The statement comes a few days after Iranian First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri warned “certain regional countries” that they will face problems if proof pertaining to their involvement in the Iran riots is obtained.

They “should know that if clues are found that show they intervened to create unrest inside Iran, they will see no peaceful time in the region,” Jahangiri said.

Iran Summons Swiss Envoy Over US Comments on Protests Against Petrol Price Hikes

He spoke after the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned Swiss ambassador to Iran Marcos Leitner, who represents Washington’s interests in the Islamic Republic, over comments by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in connection with protests against hikes in petrol prices in Iran. The ministry described Pompeo’ statement as interference in Iran's domestic affairs.

On 16 November, Pompeo tweeted an appeal to the protesters, saying “to the people of Iran” that “The United States is with you,” and accompanying his post with a year-old message about “the proud Iranian people…not staying silent about their government’s abuses.”

White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said a statement at the time that Washington “supports the Iranian people in their peaceful protests against the regime that is supposed to lead them”.

Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani harshly condemned Washington’s stance, saying that “the US’s goal vis-à-vis Iran is nothing other than to disturb its security and set fire to the Iranian nation’s interests”.

Mass protests erupted across multiple Iranian cities in mid-November after the government announced that it would increase gasoline prices by at least 50 percent in order to save resources as the country grapples with the impact of US sanctions pressure.

About 40 people were detained in the central Iranian city of Yazd during the protests, with  prosecutors saying that those detained were charged with committing acts of vandalism, attacking police officers and causing bodily harm to them.

US Economic Sanctions Against Iran

On 8 May 2018, US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and began re-imposing economic sanctions on Iran.

Exactly a year later, Tehran said it would begin reducing its commitments under the JCPOA after 60 days unless the Western signatories took steps to offset the impact of the US sanctions. The Islamic Republic subsequently began scaling back its obligations under the accord every 60 days.

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