At least 180 people in Iran have been killed over the last two weeks as the regime cracks down on mass protests sparked by a 50 percent increase in gasoline prices. Within three days after the spike in gas prices was announced Nov. 15, demonstrators were vigorously demanding an end to the Islamic Republic’s government. Security forces responded by shooting unarmed protesters, many of whom are unemployed, low-income men between the ages of 19 and 26, according to witness accounts and videos obtained by The New York Times. At least 2,000 people were wounded and 7,000 arrested, according to international rights organizations, opposition groups, and local journalists. The Trump administration’s restrictions on exports of Iran’s oil are partially responsible for the country’s budget gap that led to the extreme spike in gasoline prices. Omid Memarian, the deputy director at the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran, called the events “unprecedented, even for the Islamic Republic and its record of violence.” It is reportedly Iran’s worst political unrest since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
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