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More than 700 banks torched in Iran unrest

More than 700 banks torched in Iran unrest

Iran: The top leadership of Iran on Wednesday, denounced an outbreak of deadly unrest as 'very dangerous conspiracy'. Authorities reported that around 731 banks and 140 government sites had been torched in the disturbances.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the protests amounted to a plot that Iranians had defeated, referring to the worst anti-government unrest in Iran since authorities put down demonstrations against election fraud in 2009.

The disturbances began on November 15, this year, after the announcement of garoline price hike, but the issue quickly turned political, with protesters demanding top leaders to step down.

Reacting to the developments, the government has blamed "thugs" linked to exiles, the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia for stirring up the street unrest.

A deep, vast and very dangerous conspiracy that a lot of money had been spent on ... was destroyed by the people," Khamenei said in a meeting with members of the paramilitary Basij force, which took part in the crackdown against protests, according to his official website.Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli meanwhile said that about 731 banks and 140 government sites were torched in the unrest.

More than 50 bases used by the security forces were attacked and approximately 70 gas stations were also burned, he said, in remarks published by the official IRNA news agency. The government said that the gasoline price rise of as much as 50 per cent was aimed to raise around $2.55 billion a year for extra subsidies provided to 18 million families struggling on low incomes. The monthly cash payments are set at just 550,000 rials ($4.44) per person.

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