According to local media reports, Iran warned on Sunday that protesters will “pay the price”. Some videos on social media showed thousands marching across the country, an official in the small western town of Dorud confirmed two people had been killed during protests, but denied security forces had fired on the crowd.
“A number of people took to the streets responding to calls from hostile groups,” Lorestan province deputy governor Habibollah Khojastehpour told state television.
“Unfortunately in these clashes two citizens from Dorud were killed. No bullets were fired by the police, military or security forces towards the people,” he said.
Videos on social media overnight showed demonstrations in Isfahan, Mashhad and many smaller cities but travel restrictions and limited coverage by official media made it difficult to confirm reports.
#Update78- Clashes between protesters and security forces in most of the cities continues but just now #Kermanshah is very tense.
Protesters are trying to push back security forces as soon as they start attacking people.#IranProtests pic.twitter.com/JDMrSnkn7M— Raman Ghavami (@Raman_Ghavami) December 30, 2017
Semi-official conservative outlets confirmed an evening attack on a town hall in Tehran and showed protesters attacking banks and municipal buildings in other parts of the country.
“Those who damage public property, disrupt order and break the law must be responsible for their behaviour and pay the price,” Interior Minister Abdolrahman Rahmani Fazli said on state television early on Sunday.
“The spreading of violence, fear and terror will definitely be confronted,” he added.
United States President Donald Trump weighed in, saying “oppressive regimes cannot endure forever”.
In one of the few official reports, an official in Arak, around 300 kilometres southwest of Tehran, said 80 people had been arrested overnight.
Hand to hand combat with special units of anti riot guards #iranprotests pic.twitter.com/ByEkjiTbAp— Potkin Azarmehr (@potkazar) December 31, 2017
“Some intended to enter and damage some government places but the attackers did not manage to achieve their goals... and the town is under control,” the unidentified official told the ILNA news agency.
Iranian authorities said the majority of social media reports were emanating from regional rival Saudi Arabia and exile groups based in Europe.
Internet was temporarily cut on mobile phones on Saturday night but was restored not long after.
President Hassan Rouhani, who came to power in 2013 promising to mend the economy and ease social tensions, has so far not made any statement since the unrest started in second city Mashhad on Thursday.
The protests began in Mashhad against high living costs and the struggling economy before spreading quickly to other areas and turning against the Islamic regime as a whole.
Slogans such as “Death to the dictator” have been heard throughout the protests.
#IranProtests: Hundreds of thousands across #Iran chant "We don't want Islamic Republic!" & "Clerics shame on you, let go of our country!" Woman in video took off her #Hijab to protest Islamic dress code imposed on Iranian women since 1979. #IStandWithHer pic.twitter.com/CHNwrTsWPA— Mark Vallen (@mark_vallen) December 29, 2017
There have been reminders of the regime's continued support among conservative sections of society, with pro-regime students outnumbering protesters at the University of Tehran on Saturday.
Pre-planned rallies to mark the defeat of a 2009 protest movement also saw thousands of regime supporters out on the streets across the country on Saturday morning.
But the anti-government protests appear to have been driven in large part by poorer sections of society, angry over high unemployment, soaring prices and financial scandals.
“These protests are driven by the lower levels of society who have been hit by major economic problems, particularly losing their money when credit institutions collapsed,” said Payam Parhiz, editor in chief of reformist media network Nazar, which first broke news of the Mashhad protests.
“These economic protests are not something that has started overnight, it's been at least a year since these people lost their money in credit institutions and have been protesting at various places,” he told AFP.
Unemployment is particularly high among young people, who have grown up in a less restrictive environment and are generally considered less deferential to authority.
Distressing images: reported three protestors killed in Iran by government forces. #IranProtests pic.twitter.com/hULyoq00vG— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) December 31, 2017
Since the 2009 protests against a disputed presidential election that gave hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term were ruthlessly put down, many middle-class Iranians have abandoned hope of securing change from the streets.
But low-level strikes and demonstrations have continued, with bus drivers, teachers and factory workers protesting against unpaid wages and poor conditions.-Agencies
KARACHI – The Pakistani rupee experienced a significant surge in its value in the open market against the dollar.
This surge came after a recent directive from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), allowing banks to purchase dollars at the interbank market rate for international card payments. The objective of this move was to narrow the exchange rate gap between the official and informal markets.
According to the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan, the currency market witnessed the dollar being traded at Rs298, compared to its previous day’s closing rate of 311.
The SBP’s decision was influenced by the International Monetary Fund’s demand for Pakistan to stabilize its currency market before resuming a $6.5 billion bailout program.
In a circular, the central bank stated, “In response to the feedback received from various stakeholders, Authorized Dealers are now permitted to buy USD from the Interbank market to settle card-based cross border transactions with international payment schemes (IPS).”
Market analysts had predicted a decline in the value of the rupee following the implementation of these new guidelines.
Zafar Paracha, the General Secretary of the ECAP, expressed that the SBP’s decision was timely and appropriate. He anticipated that it would lead to a decrease of 20 to 25 rupees in the open market currency rate. Paracha also noted that aligning the rates in the official and informal markets would bolster remittance inflows.
Pracha further emphasized that significant disparities in rates between the official and informal markets encourage transactions outside of the official banking system.
KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 229,000 on Thursday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs197,620.
Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs181,150 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 211,290.
Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.
|Lahore||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Karachi||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Islamabad||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Peshawar||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Quetta||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Sialkot||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Attock||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Gujranwala||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Jehlum||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Multan||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Bahawalpur||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Gujrat||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Nawabshah||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Chakwal||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Hyderabad||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Nowshehra||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Sargodha||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Faisalabad||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
|Mirpur||PKR 229,000||PKR 2125|
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