Listen: Iran says it killed ‘rioters’ in deadliest unrest in decades
"The Islamic Amac Republic of Iran is going through its deadliest political unrest in years protests began in mid-november after a surprise spike in gasoline prices. Iran's government government responded by blocking Internet access and cracking down violently. Amnesty International says more than two hundred people have been killed thousands more arrested today. Iranian state television acknowledged that security forces have used deadly force against quote rioters in several cities amid memarian is a deputy director the Center for Human Rights in Iran based in New York. I asked him how Iranians are reacting to the government's admission of the violence. It's hard to deny killings of people people on the streets when the videos ourselves into the Internet and people are seeing what happened in many different cities and the government has refused to provide provide any accurate number regarding the number of people who have been killed but human rights organization citizens activists inside the country are sending go out and basically give us the full teacher of violence in the aftermath of the protests in the country so the last wave of widespread protests us in the Islamic republic came a decade ago after the very contested. Two thousand nine election. How is this wave of protest different from that year? Like what have you been seeing. We now in two thousand night. The protests are leader sheep and there was an organization twin it started with a major demand and that employs the various my vote and we started. They started from turn on their CDs. And then it expanded this time around. It's different because you know it. The protests popped up in more than one hundred cities and Twas not organized was very organic people who thought that the increase in the the price of gas really helped him and that trump to people to come to the streets and that's why it was in many many different cities particularly areas that Collect people are lower income. They came to the streets because they are affected. Most by these policies. Yet typically those demographics of low income young men especially Ashley. Those are the ones that the government in Iran can usually count on for support the people who turn out at rallies so if unemployed young men are frustrated in Iran what what do you think that says about who Iran's rulers can count on for support anymore. This is a very good question. These are the people that are the base dictate Major Asier Constituents of Islamic Republic at the always pretend that they are the supporters of the poor and the lower class. And that's why you're empowered. Now see that the constituent has turned against them because they see that year after year after year the policies have weekend the economy tower and net the fact that every year they become poorer and poorer. They don't foresee a better future. You know some people would say that these protests in Iran are exactly what the trump White House wanted with its maximum pressure campaign on the country. Trump was actually asked today in London whether the US supported the protesters in Iran. And he said at. I did not want to comment. But then he said no The answer is no do you think. These protests are the result of trump's posture toward Iran for sure Iran waste we. We are very hard time The sanctions are hurting the economy. Very bad and more than anything else that people but on the other side. Iran's problems when it comes to the economy a S- much bigger than the sanctions. Iran has been struggling with corruption for many years and economic inequality has been vast and comes from government policies omid. I know you have family in Iran. How are they doing? My family. Like many others in the country. Seal the pressure and they are. They uncertain about the future participated this round of violence. There's a huge distrust between the government and people and when there's no trust it's just so hard to exit any policy and that I think the overwhelming feeling I've witnessed not only from family but also other people people don't talk to anyone over the past few weeks or made memorial on deputy director at the Center for Human Rights in Iran. Speaking with us from New York thank"