Protests have erupted across oil-rich Iran since the government announced, at midnight on November 15, a sharp increase in petrol prices. The announcement came as the country finds itself in a dire economic situation due to crippling US sanctions, corruption and the mismanagement of financial institutions. The government said the price increase is aimed at raising revenue to fund cash handouts for Iran's poorest citizens.
The state has reacted to the protests with brutal and deadly force, and by shutting down the internet, but has so far failed to curb them. Slogans have tended to be more political than economic, with protesters chanting against Islamic Republic leaders, foreign policy and in some cases expressing support of the Pahlavi dynasty.
Amnesty International has condemned the state crackdown.
Iran’s government has begun rushing out promised direct payments to millions of Iranians, a sign that the regime is alarmed at the scale of protests, during which protesters have torched banks, religious schools, military bases, and government offices.