Iranian cities erupt in protest over gas price hike

Iranian cities erupt in protest over gas price hike
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A hike in government-set gas prices has sparked protests in Iranian cities, reportedly resulting in the death of at least one person. 

The demonstrations over the 50-percent price increase were mostly peaceful, but there were some instances of violence, The Associated Press reported Saturday. 

The wire service reported that they followed a decision by President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday to cut gas subsidies in order to pay for handouts for the poor. 

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The AP reported that the protests broke out in more than a dozen cities and that demonstrators blocked traffic in major cities and sometimes clashed with police. 

State-run IRNA news agency said that in the city of Sirjan “protesters tried to set fire to the oil depot, but they were stopped by police,” according to the AP. 

Interior Ministry official Mohammad Mahmoudabadi told state TV that police and protesters had exchanged gunfire and was quoted in ISNA saying that one person had been killed, according to the wire service.

The AP noted that Iran still has some of the cheapest gas in the world at about 50 cents per gallon, but many people there work as informal taxi drivers.

The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Iran after President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE pulled the U.S. out of a nuclear agreement with Iran last year.