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Rouhani, Khamenei accuse 'enemies and foreigners' to be behind Iran protests

Masoume Aliakbar  ISNA  Associated Press

According to Amnesty International, more than 100 protesters are believed to have been killed as top Iranian officials gave the green light to crush protests.

Iran's mission to the United Nations called the Amnesty toll "speculative" and said Iran was subject to a "disinformation campaign".

International Monetary Fund spokesperson Camilla Andersen said, "In general, the International Monetary Fund continues to advise oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Central Asia region to reduce fuel subsidies. while compensating the poor with targeted cash transfers, which we understand is the approach Iran has taken".

On Thursday, the president said the Iranian government is restricting citizens from using the internet, which bars them from broadcasting the violence in their country.

Iranian government supporters rally following the protests in with petrol pumps were torched, police stations attacked and shops looted.

Internet connection is still off by 85 percent in Iran, as the government has very slowly restored limited connectivity.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Thursday praised the armed forces for taking "timely" action against "rioters" and said calm had returned after days of unrest sparked by a hike in petrol prices. That's a result of the reimposition of crippling USA economic sanctions as part of President Donald Trump's maximum pressure campaign against Tehran, following his unilateral withdrawal of the U.S. from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. This is the result of the reimposition of crippling economic sanctions by the United States in the context of President Donald Trump's campaign of maximum pressure against Tehran, following the unilateral withdrawal of the nuclear deal concluded by the United States. Rouhani declared victory Wednesday in the unrest, blaming "the Zionists and Americans" for the violence. News agencies and residents said only fixed-line internet, not mobile internet, was partially restored. The public television showed images of air defense missile systems that were fired and a patrol conducted by jet fighters in Semnan province [north].

Meanwhile, activists said Thursday that six environmental activists working to save the critically endangered Asian cheetah have been sentenced to jail time for internationally-charged espionage charges.

Similarly, on Tuesday, "Both friends and foes should know that we have repelled the enemy in the war of military, political and security issues, ' said current Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in reference to protests taking place in Iran against fuel price hikes".