Embattled president branded ‘a fraud’ during impromptu protest by conservative activists in Teheran
Iranian conservative activists attacked the governor of Hamedan on Monday during an impromptu protest against social and political reforms, footage showed.
President Hassan Rouhani has been under increasing fire since November when Iran’s powerful Guardian Council ruled that a bill to curb government-related websites would infringe on personal freedoms.
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The reformist outlet Kaleme reported that five protesters came up to the front row of seats in Hamedan’s municipality headquarters, pressed Rouhani’s photograph on to a blackboard and attacked the governor, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli.
“Rouhani is a fraud and he is oppressing people like we have never seen in our history,” one protester shouted, as other protesters slapped the governor on the right side of his face, Kaleme said.
“Get lost,” Fazli told the protesters, according to another website, Inqilab.
He is the latest Iranian official to be targeted by anti-Rouhani protesters. On Thursday, a demonstration in Tehran turned violent when a crowd smashed shop windows, set some vehicles on fire and threw rocks at the president’s motorcade.
Anti-Rouhani protesters disrupted his weekly news conference on Thursday. Photograph: Engadi Ghaemi/AP
“Rouhani and his circle are hanging from the time capsule … their original feelings have disappeared. They do not have feelings,” a demonstrator told the centrist Kaleme.
A week earlier, angry demonstrators pelted the post offices in a southern town of Musakhani with bricks, destroying dozens of the buildings, according to state media. On Wednesday, a group of protesters attacked the governor of south-west Iran’s Khuzestan province, Ahmadi Nouri.
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all matters of state, has warned the protesters should not express themselves violently. “If you have anything against the supreme leader, do not express it in anger or be violent. It will lead to disaster,” he said in a statement on Saturday.
Last month, Rouhani ordered the arrest of two Iranian photographers who had posted pictures of his supporters on social media which he accused of insulting the supreme leader.