Three members of the Iranian security forces were reportedly killed during the demonstrations in Tehran against the recent price hike in gasoline across the country. According to the media reports, the three were killed by protesters armed with blade weapons. Amongst the three one was the member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps while the other two were members of the Basij militia. The Iranian authorities have further reportedly said that they had arrested around 1,000 people for rioting and acts of vandalism.
The unrest reportedly erupted on Friday after the authorities announced that the price of petrol would rise to 15,000 rials per litre from 10,000 for the first 60 litres, and to 30,000 rials for any extra fuel brought after that each month. Since then, the protesters have reportedly abandoned their cars and joined mass demonstrations in Tehran and elsewhere. The authorities have also shut down the internet across Iran to smother the protests in cities and towns. The United States has also denounced the use of force and virtual communications blackout. In a statement released by the White House on November 17, the US expressed support for the Iranian people in their peaceful protests. "We condemn the lethal force and severe communications restrictions used against demonstrators," the statement read.
Iran's supreme leader while backing up the governments' decision has ordered security forces to “implement their tasks” and for Iran's citizens to keep clear of violent protesters. “Such illegal actions would not solve any problem but add insecurity on top of other problems,” Khamenei said. “Lack of security is the biggest calamity for any country and society. That is what they are looking for.”
Amid the ongoing anti-government-protests Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that the nation would not allow 'insecurity'. Rouhani further defended the controversial petrol price hike and reportedly said that insecurity should not be allowed in society. The statement came after two people were killed and dozens were arrested. He claimed that protesting is the people's right but it should be different from rioting. Rouhani was also backed by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who called the angry protesters “thugs” for setting public property ablaze over the hike.