November 16, 2019 | 7: 15pm
I’m receiving more footage from #IranProtests by the minute.
People in Shahriyar (Tehran Province) have set fire to the statue of Khomeini, founder of Islamic Republic.
Women are leading the protests.
Anti-regime protests have entered their second day in Iran pic.twitter.com/ZU28MiLImT
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) November 16, 2019
Protests broke out throughout Iran Saturday after the government moved to effectively hike the price of gasoline by 50 percent overnight.
Angry protesters parked cars in the streets to block traffic in more than a dozen cities, and crowds numbering in the thousands marched throughout the country, many chanting, “Down with the dictator” and other anti-government slogans.
Some shouted, “The enemy is here!” a reference to the government’s continued vilification of the US.
Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad tweeted a video of protesters setting fire to a statue of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, in Shahriyar, a city in Tehran province.
President Hassan Rouhani’s decision at midnight Friday to cut gasoline subsidies for the poor sparked the outcry, the Associated Press reported. Though still among the cheapest in the world, Iran’s gas prices rose to about 50 cents per gallon, up 50 percent from the day before, even as the country suffers from the impact of US sanctions.
At least five people were killed, according to the Jerusalem Post, which cited local reports.
Late Saturday, the government shut down the Internet as protests continued, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Online videos showed a crowed burning down a bank in Behbahan in southeastern Iran and to an oil depot in the city of Sirjan, about 500 miles southeast of the capital, Tehran. Protesters also set fire to a police station in the city of Karaj and to cars or buildings in several other cities.