Iranians protest inflation, govt 'mismanagement'

-‘Illegal’ demonstrations erupt in Iranian cities of Mashhad, Kashmar

By Mustafa Melih Ahishali

ISTANBUL (AA) – Hundreds of Iranians hit the streets in the northeastern cities of Mashhad and Kashmar on Thursday to protest rising commodity prices and perceived government mismanagement, according to local media reports.

The Iranian Students News Agency quoted Mashhad Governor Mohammad Rahim Norouzian as saying that police had eventually dispersed the protests while a number of demonstrators had been taken into custody.

In a statement issued by the governor’s office, Norouzian warned that any unauthorized demonstrations would be considered illegal.

In an address delivered earlier Thursday in the city of Sabzevar (roughly 220 kilometers east of Mashhad), prominent preacher Ahmad Alamolhoda declared: “In terms of economic management, welfare and overall living conditions, we have been deeply embarrassed by decades of government maladministration”.