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Poverty in Mashhad led people to revolt: Observers

Mass protests against IRGC banks scams in Iran's Mashhad

The Iranian city of Mashhad has been one of the hotspots of the ongoing protests in Iran. Videos posted online showed crowds in Mashhad chanting "death to Rouhani" and "death to the dictator", and police using water cannon to disperse it.

Large number of protesters poured onto the streets in the city, calling for the removal of the regime.

Observers attributed the huge turnout of protesters in the city to its luminous stature in the Shiite country. It is the foremost destination for Shiites inside and outside Iran. It has religious shrines and landmarks.

Mashhad also was once a tourist destination, with tens of thousands of visitors flocking to it per year.

Poverty

They say the mass protests prompted by poverty in that province is a sign the country is deteriorating.

Reports suggest the city is struggling with abject poverty.


A report posted on Gulf Center for Iranian Studies the shrine of Imam Reza is located in the city of Mashhad. And this has made it a focus for the government's attention.

"What happened in Mashhad is indicative. The city is rich. It is a commercial and tourist hub," the report said, adding:"The situation in this relatively rich city is dreadful. So what about the other underprivileged cities?"

The report also noted the protests will spread nationwide, especially in the poorer cities other than Mashhad.

New austere budget

According to commentators, unduly political and economic circumstances prompted the Iranians to flood the streets, according to observers.

 

President Rouhani promised that the deal he signed with world powers in 2015, which saw Iran limit its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of international sanctions, would boost economic growth.

They cited the tough economic measures that the government plans to enforce. The new budget, they say, will impact the livelihoods of the already improvised people.

Rouhani presented the draft budget for the next Iranian year, which begins in March 2018, to parliament for ratification. It includes decisions that will directly affect prices and the standard of living of citizens, such as raising the price of fuel by 50 percent.


The proposed bill also include lifting the financial support for 34 million citizens.

These measures are being enforced to curb the budget deficit as well as channeling more funds to the IRGC and the institutions falling within the scope of Iran supreme leader's authorities.

According to observers, these measures were the final straw.

"It is insane to slash support for the people and increase it for those oppressing them," they noted, saying the people is living in abject poverty and is no longer able to endure these woes.

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