Unrest would harm legitimate demands: commander

January 2, 2018

TEHRAN – Mohammad Sadeq Jokar, the deputy IRGC chief for parliamentary affairs, said on Tuesday that the unrest in certain cities in Iran would harm the legitimate demands of the people.

Protests over rising prices, unemployment and corruption first started in Mashhad and then spread to certain other cities in the country including Tehran. In certain cases the protests turned violent, leading to death of some citizens.

“The improvement of the economic situation, livelihood and employment are legitimate rights of the people which should be pursued seriously by authorities,” Jokar said, according Mehr news agency.

He emphasized that some individuals exploit illegal rallies on the streets, destroy public property and undermine public order, which would distract the attention from people’s demands.

The military officer added that the rioters’ conduct and their radical slogans would make the enemies happy.

According to Article 27 of the Iranian Constitution “public gatherings and marches are allowed so long as the participants do not carry arms and are not in violation of the fundamental principles of Islam.”

Officials maintain that people have the right to stage protests to express their opinions, as long as rallies comply with the legal conditions.

Meanwhile, Esmaeil Kowsari, the deputy chief of the IRGC Sarallah unit in Tehran, said if unrest in the capital continues, authorities will take decisive measures to put an end to it.

“By no means do we allow the state of insecurity in Tehran to continue, and if these conditions continue, the officials will take some decisions that will end (the unrest) completely,” the commander stressed.

General Kowsari said Sarallah has not gotten involved in curbing the violent protests yet, and that all responsibility falls, for now, on the police’s shoulders.

Tehran’s situation is under control, he said, adding that the Sarallah unit is ready to help the police if necessary. 

There are various conflicting reports about the number of casualties and the extent of the damage. Tasnim reported that at least 21 people, including a number of the security forces, have been killed in the riots.


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