Acts of violence marginalize civil protests: Govt. spox

TEHRAN, Nov. 20 (MNA) – Iranian government spokesman, Ali Rabiei, said acts of violence staged across the country under the guise of objecting to fuel price hikes only marginalize people’s “civil protests”.

“Such riots are what the terrorists and the enemies of Iran are seeking,” Rabiei wrote on his Twitter account on Wednesday.

Noting the there is a big difference between protest and riot, the spokesman said, “the former leads to reforms, while the latter causes erosion.”

Iran began rationing gasoline and substantially increased the price of fuel on Friday, saying the revenue would be used to assist those financially struggling families.

The National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) said in a statement late Thursday that the price of a liter of regular gasoline had gone up to 15,000 rials (12.7 US cents) from 10,000 rials and the monthly ration for each private automobile was set at 60 liters per month. Additional purchases would cost 30,000 rials per liter.

The decision sparked rallies in a number of Iranian cities, some of which were marred by violence and damage to public property.

MNA/4776621

News Code 152489

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