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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east

At least 40 Iraq protesters killed in 24 hours as violence escalates

At least 40 anti-government protesters have been killed in Iraq over a 24-hour period, government officials told The Associated Press late Thursday, as violence in Baghdad and the south of the country threatened to spiral out of control.

Security and medical officials say five protesters were killed and 32 wounded late Thursday when security forces fired live rounds to repel them from setting fire to a mosque in the central city of Najaf. Protesters had torched the Iranian consulate in that city the previous night.

Another 35 protesters have been killed by security forces in separate demonstrations in Nasiriyah and Baghdad since Wednesday evening. In all, at least 350 people have died since protesters first took to the streets on Oct. 1 to protest government corruption.

The attack on the Najaf consulate one of the worst attacks targeting Iranian interests in the country since the anti-government protests erupted two months ago. The Iranian staff were not harmed and escaped out the back door. Abbas Mousavi, a spokesman for Tehran’s foreign ministry, called for a “responsible, strong and effective” response to the incident from Iraq’s government in statements to Iran’s official IRNA news agency.

Westlake Legal Group Iraq720 At least 40 Iraq protesters killed in 24 hours as violence escalates Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article 84f4c149-0238-5829-b9ee-1c9e7f2700c4

A wounded protester is carried to receive first aid during clashes in Baghdad Thursday. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the torching of the consulate, saying it was perpetrated by “people outside of the genuine protesters,” in a statement, adding that the purpose had been to harm bilateral relations between the countries.

One demonstrator was killed and 35 wounded when police fired live ammunition to try to prevent them from entering the consulate building. Once inside, the demonstrators removed the Iranian flag and replaced it with an Iraqi one, according to a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with regulations.

A curfew was imposed in Najaf after the consulate was burned. Security forces were heavily deployed around main government buildings and religious institutions Thursday morning. The province is the headquarters of the country’s Shiite religious authority headed by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

The largely leaderless protest movement has also decried Iran’s growing influence in Iraqi state affairs as well as government corruption. Influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on the government to resign “immediately to stop the bloodletting,” while also imploring protesters to maintain the peacefulness of their movement and punish and abolish those behind the violence to protect the reputation of their movement.

“If the government does not resign, this will be the beginning of the end of Iraq,” he warned. Al-Sadr, who has supported the protests, also categorically denied that his supporters were involved in the attack against the Iranian consulate in Najaf.

Westlake Legal Group AP19331392838064-1 At least 40 Iraq protesters killed in 24 hours as violence escalates Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article 84f4c149-0238-5829-b9ee-1c9e7f2700c4

Anti-government protesters set fire to block streets during ongoing protests in Baghdad Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ali Abdul Hassan)

Protesters have staged sit-ins and closed roads, using burning tires to cut access to main thoroughfares and bridges with burning tires. Protesters have also lately targeted the state’s economic interests in the south by blocking key ports and roads to oil fields.

In Basra, security forces were deployed in the city’s main roads to prevent protesters from staging sit-ins, with instructions to arrest demonstrators if they tried to block roads.

Basra’s streets were open as of Thursday morning, but roads leading to the two main Gulf commodities ports in Umm Qasr and Khor al-Zubair remained closed. Schools and official public institutions were also closed.

Separately, the U.S. Embassy denounced a recent decision by Iraq’s media regulator to suspend nine television channels, calling for the Communications and Media Commission to reverse its decision. Thursday’s statement from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad also condemned attacks and harassment against journalists.

Local channel Dijla TV had its license suspended Tuesday for its coverage of the protests, and its office was closed and equipment confiscated, according to an official from one of the channels under threat. Other channels have been asked by the regulatory commission to sign a pledge “agreeing to adhere to its rules,” said the official, who requested anonymity out of fear of reprisal.

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The Islamic State group (ISIS) also claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s coordinated bombings in three Baghdad neighborhoods, which killed five people. That was the first apparent coordinated attack since anti-government protests began. The bombings took place far from Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of weeks of anti-government protests that have posed the biggest security challenge to Iraq since the defeat of ISIS.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Iraq720 At least 40 Iraq protesters killed in 24 hours as violence escalates Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article 84f4c149-0238-5829-b9ee-1c9e7f2700c4   Westlake Legal Group Iraq720 At least 40 Iraq protesters killed in 24 hours as violence escalates Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article 84f4c149-0238-5829-b9ee-1c9e7f2700c4

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Palestinians protest US settlement policy shift in ‘day of rage’

Thousands of Palestinian protesters took part in a “day of rage” across the West Bank on Tuesday, with some groups clashing with Israeli forces to protest U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement last week that the U.S. government will ease its stance on Israeli settlements.

Around 2,000 people gathered in the West Bank city of Ramallah by midday, where they set fire to posters of President Trump as well as Israeli and American flags.

Westlake Legal Group Israel-Protests-2 Palestinians protest US settlement policy shift in 'day of rage' Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics fox news fnc/world fnc b8e3386e-30e0-5962-ac59-21afe7dfcf13 article

Palestinian demonstrator throws back tear gas fired by Israeli troops during the protest against the U.S. announcement that it no longer believes Israeli settlements violate international law., at checkpoint Beit El near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Schools, universities and government offices were closed and rallies were being held in other West Bank cities as well.

Last week’s announcement that the U.S. no longer believes Israeli settlements violate international law was the latest move by the Trump administration to bolster Israel’s position and undermine Palestinian claims regarding land sought for a future state.

ISRAEL SHOOTS DOWN ROCKET FIRED FROM GAZA IN SECOND ATTACK IN ONE WEEK, RATTLING SHAKY CEASE-FIRE

Pompeo essentially rejected a 1978 State Department legal opinion holding that civilian settlements in the occupied territories are “inconsistent with international law.” He also said the White House was reversing an Obama administration directive that allowed the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution declaring the settlements a “flagrant violation” of international law.

Trump already broke with his predecessors by deciding earlier to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the U.S. Embassy to that city and closing the Palestinian diplomatic office in Washington.

“The biased American policy toward Israel, and the American support of the Israeli settlements and the Israeli occupation, leaves us with only one option: To go back to resistance,” Mahmoud Aloul, an official with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement, told the crowd in Ramallah on Tuesday.

Demonstrators held signs that said, “Trump to impeachment, (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu to jail, the occupation will go and we will remain on our land.”

Netanyahu was formally charged last week in a series of corruption cases.

Westlake Legal Group israel-protests-3 Palestinians protest US settlement policy shift in 'day of rage' Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics fox news fnc/world fnc b8e3386e-30e0-5962-ac59-21afe7dfcf13 article

Palestinian demonstrators burn tires as they clash with Israeli troops during the protest against the U.S. settlement policy shift at checkpoint Beit El near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Dozens of protesters threw stones on Tuesday at Israeli forces stationed at checkpoints near Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron. Israeli forces retaliated with tear gas.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

CEASE-FIRE REACHED WITH ISRAEL TO END GAZA FIGHTING, ISLAMIC JIHAD SAYS

Israeli leaders welcomed the U.S. decision to ease its stance on Israeli settlements, including Netanyahu who called it “historic.”

The Palestinians and most of the international community have said the settlements are illegal and undermine hopes for a two-state solution by gobbling up land sought by the Palestinians.

Israel has said the fate of the settlements should be determined in negotiations.

Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and quickly began settling the newly conquered territory. About 700,000 Israelis currently live in the two areas.

Westlake Legal Group Israel-Protests-1 Palestinians protest US settlement policy shift in 'day of rage' Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics fox news fnc/world fnc b8e3386e-30e0-5962-ac59-21afe7dfcf13 article

Palestinian demonstrators run from tear gas fired by Israeli troops during the protest against the U.S. announcement that it no longer believes Israeli settlements violate international law. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Tuesday’s protests came just hours after the death of Palestinian prisoner Sami Abu Diak, 35, following a battle with cancer. Organizers had said the demonstrations — which were planned before his death — would also call for Abu Diak’s release from Israeli custody to allow him to die at his family’s side. Israeli officials reportedly denied the request.

In a statement, Israel’s prisons service said he was serving three life sentences for voluntary manslaughter and kidnapping, among other charges.

Abu Diak was allegedly involved in the killing of three Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israeli security forces and was arrested in the early 2000s, during the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

Previous deaths of terminally ill Palestinian prisoners have set off protests and accusations of medical negligence on the part of Israeli authorities.

Also, on Tuesday, the Israeli military said two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel, adding that one was intercepted by an Iron Dome missile battery.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the second in one week, which rattled the shaky cease-fire brokered earlier this month that ended two straight days of fighting with Palestinian militants.

The Israel Defense Forces also reported a rocket attack on Monday, tweeting, “Nine days of calm between Israel and Gaza were just broken when a projectile was fired from #Gaza at #Israel. Thankfully, it landed in an open area.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Israel-Protests-2 Palestinians protest US settlement policy shift in 'day of rage' Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics fox news fnc/world fnc b8e3386e-30e0-5962-ac59-21afe7dfcf13 article   Westlake Legal Group Israel-Protests-2 Palestinians protest US settlement policy shift in 'day of rage' Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics fox news fnc/world fnc b8e3386e-30e0-5962-ac59-21afe7dfcf13 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Palestinians protest US settlement policy shift in ‘day of rage’

Thousands of Palestinian protesters took part in a “day of rage” across the West Bank on Tuesday, with some groups clashing with Israeli forces to protest U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement last week that the U.S. government will ease its stance on Israeli settlements.

Around 2,000 people gathered in the West Bank city of Ramallah by midday, where they set fire to posters of President Trump as well as Israeli and American flags.

Westlake Legal Group Israel-Protests-2 Palestinians protest US settlement policy shift in 'day of rage' Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics fox news fnc/world fnc b8e3386e-30e0-5962-ac59-21afe7dfcf13 article

Palestinian demonstrator throws back tear gas fired by Israeli troops during the protest against the U.S. announcement that it no longer believes Israeli settlements violate international law., at checkpoint Beit El near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Schools, universities and government offices were closed and rallies were being held in other West Bank cities as well.

Last week’s announcement that the U.S. no longer believes Israeli settlements violate international law was the latest move by the Trump administration to bolster Israel’s position and undermine Palestinian claims regarding land sought for a future state.

ISRAEL SHOOTS DOWN ROCKET FIRED FROM GAZA IN SECOND ATTACK IN ONE WEEK, RATTLING SHAKY CEASE-FIRE

Pompeo essentially rejected a 1978 State Department legal opinion holding that civilian settlements in the occupied territories are “inconsistent with international law.” He also said the White House was reversing an Obama administration directive that allowed the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution declaring the settlements a “flagrant violation” of international law.

Trump already broke with his predecessors by deciding earlier to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the U.S. Embassy to that city and closing the Palestinian diplomatic office in Washington.

“The biased American policy toward Israel, and the American support of the Israeli settlements and the Israeli occupation, leaves us with only one option: To go back to resistance,” Mahmoud Aloul, an official with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement, told the crowd in Ramallah on Tuesday.

Demonstrators held signs that said, “Trump to impeachment, (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu to jail, the occupation will go and we will remain on our land.”

Netanyahu was formally charged last week in a series of corruption cases.

Westlake Legal Group israel-protests-3 Palestinians protest US settlement policy shift in 'day of rage' Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics fox news fnc/world fnc b8e3386e-30e0-5962-ac59-21afe7dfcf13 article

Palestinian demonstrators burn tires as they clash with Israeli troops during the protest against the U.S. settlement policy shift at checkpoint Beit El near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Dozens of protesters threw stones on Tuesday at Israeli forces stationed at checkpoints near Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron. Israeli forces retaliated with tear gas.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

CEASE-FIRE REACHED WITH ISRAEL TO END GAZA FIGHTING, ISLAMIC JIHAD SAYS

Israeli leaders welcomed the U.S. decision to ease its stance on Israeli settlements, including Netanyahu who called it “historic.”

The Palestinians and most of the international community have said the settlements are illegal and undermine hopes for a two-state solution by gobbling up land sought by the Palestinians.

Israel has said the fate of the settlements should be determined in negotiations.

Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and quickly began settling the newly conquered territory. About 700,000 Israelis currently live in the two areas.

Westlake Legal Group Israel-Protests-1 Palestinians protest US settlement policy shift in 'day of rage' Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics fox news fnc/world fnc b8e3386e-30e0-5962-ac59-21afe7dfcf13 article

Palestinian demonstrators run from tear gas fired by Israeli troops during the protest against the U.S. announcement that it no longer believes Israeli settlements violate international law. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Tuesday’s protests came just hours after the death of Palestinian prisoner Sami Abu Diak, 35, following a battle with cancer. Organizers had said the demonstrations — which were planned before his death — would also call for Abu Diak’s release from Israeli custody to allow him to die at his family’s side. Israeli officials reportedly denied the request.

In a statement, Israel’s prisons service said he was serving three life sentences for voluntary manslaughter and kidnapping, among other charges.

Abu Diak was allegedly involved in the killing of three Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israeli security forces and was arrested in the early 2000s, during the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

Previous deaths of terminally ill Palestinian prisoners have set off protests and accusations of medical negligence on the part of Israeli authorities.

Also, on Tuesday, the Israeli military said two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel, adding that one was intercepted by an Iron Dome missile battery.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the second in one week, which rattled the shaky cease-fire brokered earlier this month that ended two straight days of fighting with Palestinian militants.

The Israel Defense Forces also reported a rocket attack on Monday, tweeting, “Nine days of calm between Israel and Gaza were just broken when a projectile was fired from #Gaza at #Israel. Thankfully, it landed in an open area.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Israel-Protests-2 Palestinians protest US settlement policy shift in 'day of rage' Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics fox news fnc/world fnc b8e3386e-30e0-5962-ac59-21afe7dfcf13 article   Westlake Legal Group Israel-Protests-2 Palestinians protest US settlement policy shift in 'day of rage' Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics fox news fnc/world fnc b8e3386e-30e0-5962-ac59-21afe7dfcf13 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iraq shaken by one of its ‘worst’ days of protests; at least 13 killed

At least 13 anti-government protesters were killed Sunday by Iraqi security forces in one of the “worst” days of violence in the country’s south amid widespread ongoing demonstrations against corruption, officials said.

Since the anti-government protests broke out in early October, at least 342 people have been killed and thousands more wounded in Baghdad and various southern provinces.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets by the tens of thousands over what they’ve called widespread corruption, a lack of job opportunities and poor basic services, despite the country’s oil wealth.

Westlake Legal Group Iraq-4 Iraq shaken by one of its 'worst' days of protests; at least 13 killed Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox news fnc/world fnc article 4af6c7c7-98f3-5929-a0c6-68b1e627ccfd

Protesters reacting to tear gas fired by riot police during fighting in Baghdad on Sunday. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

IRAQI PROTESTORS BLOCK MAJOR PORT, HALT COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY AMID ONGOING DEMONSTRATIONS

Seven protesters were killed Sunday in the southern province of Basra, near the main Gulf commercial port Umm Qasr, when Iraqi authorities used live fire and tear gas to diffuse the situation, according to security and hospital officials who did not want to be identified.

Four protesters reportedly were killed in Nassiriya province, and one killed in both Najaf, the seat of Iraq’s Shiite religious authority, and Diwanieh provinces.

At least 150 demonstrators were injured across Southern Iraq.

Protesters had cut roads leading to the Umm Qasr port, halting all trade activity.

In Nassiriya on Sunday, protesters used burning tires to block key roads and main bridges. Protestors set fire to the city’s Shiite Endowment building, a governing body regulating the administration of mosques.

Westlake Legal Group iraq-2 Iraq shaken by one of its 'worst' days of protests; at least 13 killed Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox news fnc/world fnc article 4af6c7c7-98f3-5929-a0c6-68b1e627ccfd

Demonstrators trying to pull down concrete walls placed by Iraqi security forces to close in the historic Rasheed Street in Baghdad on Sunday. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

ROCKETS FIRED ON IRAQ BASE WITH U.S. TROOPS, NO ONE INJURED, PENTAGON SAYS

In Baghdad, at least 13 people were injured as clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces continued for a fourth day.

In the capital city, at least 16 people have been killed and over 100 injured in the renewed clashes, which kicked off last Thursday as protesters tried to scale a concrete barrier on historic Rasheed Street causing security forces to fire live ammunition, tear gas and rubber bullets to repel protestors.

The leaderless uprising has aimed to demolish the sectarian system and unseat the government, including Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.

In statements, the international community, including the United Nations and the United States, denounced the use of force against peaceful protestors.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that the U.S. would hit Iraq with new financial penalties to punish the tactics used to repel demonstrators.

Westlake Legal Group iraq-1 Iraq shaken by one of its 'worst' days of protests; at least 13 killed Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox news fnc/world fnc article 4af6c7c7-98f3-5929-a0c6-68b1e627ccfd

An anti-government protester flashing a victory sign in Baghdad on Sunday. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

“We will not stand idle while the corrupt officials make the Iraqi people suffer,” Pompeo told reporters in Washington, adding that the U.S. “will use our legal authorities to sanction corrupt individuals that are stealing Iraqis’ wealth and those killing and wounding peaceful protesters.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

There was no indication that the protest movement has affected the production of oil, which has accounted for nearly 90 percent of Iraq’s state revenue through exports.

Fox News’ Bradford Betz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Iraq-5 Iraq shaken by one of its 'worst' days of protests; at least 13 killed Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox news fnc/world fnc article 4af6c7c7-98f3-5929-a0c6-68b1e627ccfd   Westlake Legal Group Iraq-5 Iraq shaken by one of its 'worst' days of protests; at least 13 killed Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox news fnc/world fnc article 4af6c7c7-98f3-5929-a0c6-68b1e627ccfd

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Brutal crackdown of Iran protesters points to increasing divide, leadership losing grip: ‘The regime is afraid’

Frustration and anger have yet again gripped streets across Iran this week, in another spate of deadly protests and the increasing divide between citizens and the country’s religious regime.

In the immediate aftermath of the government announcing a slashing of government subsidies and thus massive rise in fuel prices, scores of locals erupted in what they consider to be a hard blow in their personal struggles to stay afloat.

“95 percent of the protesters were the youth, from ages 20 to 25. I was in the streets from the first day, and from the second day, the regime’s forces began shooting directly at us,” activist Arash, 25, a university graduate from the city of Behbehan told Fox News. “Two of my friends were slain next to me. One of my acquaintances is a nurse. She told me not to bring the wounded and the martyrs to her hospital since the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had dispatched forces there to take away the wounded.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19320663006072 Brutal crackdown of Iran protesters points to increasing divide, leadership losing grip: 'The regime is afraid' Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/human-rights fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/world fnc article 96581794-fe89-5f4b-bf9f-db23c18df99b

A road is blocked by protestors after authorities raised gasoline prices, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Protesters angered by Iran raising government-set gasoline prices by 50% blocked traffic in major cities and occasionally clashed with police Saturday after a night of demonstrations punctuated by gunfire. (ISNA via AP)

AMERICAN REPORTER JASON REZAIAN, HELD IN IRAN FOR 544 DAYS, AWARDED $180M FOR CAPTIVITY, TORTURE

According to another Tehran-based university student, who took to the streets chanting “death to the regime,” they simply “don’t want to live like this.” But since earlier this week, his line has gone dead, indicative of the almost total internet blackout in response to the unrest.

The government reaction has been immediate and harsh, protesters say, more so than in past demonstrations.

Government forces have unleashed bullets from rooftops and helicopters, according to Amnesty International. Other demonstrators have decried the police violence and vowed that those seized are being subjected to heinous forms of torture behind bars. Amnesty International has projected the death toll exceeds more than 100, while other regime critics pledge that more than 200 people have lost their lives.

Westlake Legal Group AP19324451598814 Brutal crackdown of Iran protesters points to increasing divide, leadership losing grip: 'The regime is afraid' Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/human-rights fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/world fnc article 96581794-fe89-5f4b-bf9f-db23c18df99b

A gas station shows damages after it was attacked and burned during protests over rises in government-set gasoline prices, in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Demonstrations struck at least 100 cities and towns, spiraling into violence that saw banks, stores and police stations attacked and burned.  (AP)

“It was on the second day that the IRGC attacked us. They were accompanied by the para-military Bassij Forces. They were ruthlessly killing people,” recalled Hassan, 52, an automobile mechanic from the city of Mahshahr. “They even brought in helicopters and over the past couple of days, have brought in buses and put those arrested into them. But people’s morale is still high, and they are not backing down from their demands.”

Moreover, Parvin, 32, a teacher from Shiraz, underscored that the regime is demanding upwards of $2,500 to release a corpse, and that “there are so many wounded they can’t be counted.”

Authorities have claimed that more than 1,000 people have been arrested, as banks and government offices were vandalized or set on fire, in stark contrast to those involved who insist that the demonstrations were peaceful acts.

IRANIAN CITIZEN WHO VIOLATED US SANCTIONS BY EXPORTING CARBON FIBER GETS PRISON TIME

Many see the iron-fisted crackdown as a critical indicator that Tehran is buckling and fears for its ability to maintain control of the population.

“The regime responded with more violence this time because it is more desperate and its political legitimacy has largely evaporated in the eyes of the long-suffering people,” noted Jim Phillips, a senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at The Heritage Foundation. “Coercive force is now the only option that it has to ensure its survival.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19320584183542 Brutal crackdown of Iran protesters points to increasing divide, leadership losing grip: 'The regime is afraid' Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/human-rights fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/world fnc article 96581794-fe89-5f4b-bf9f-db23c18df99b

Smoke rises during a protest after authorities raised gasoline prices, in the central city of Isfahan, Iran, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Demonstrators angered by a 50% increase in government-set gasoline prices blocked traffic in major cities and occasionally clashed with police Saturday after a night of demonstrations punctuated by gunfire. (AP)

The week’s demonstrations have spread across much of the beleaguered nation, ranging from Shiraz, Tehran, and Karaj, through to Mashhad, Isfahan, and beyond.

“This time Iranians have shown they don’t believe in ‘reforms.’ Iranians, especially women, are repressed every day by Ayatollah Khamenei and are rebelling,” said Alireza Nader, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). “The regime is still highly armed and is fighting for its life.”

THE MASTER BEHIND THE MASK: WHO IS IRAN’S MOST FEARED AND POWERFUL MILITARY COMMANDER?

Westlake Legal Group AP19320585531860 Brutal crackdown of Iran protesters points to increasing divide, leadership losing grip: 'The regime is afraid' Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/human-rights fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/world fnc article 96581794-fe89-5f4b-bf9f-db23c18df99b

Smoke rises up during a protest after authorities raised gasoline prices, in the central city of Isfahan, Iran, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Protesters angered by Iran raising government-set gasoline prices by 50% blocked traffic in major cities and occasionally clashed with police Saturday after a night of demonstrations punctuated by gunfire, in violence that reportedly killed at least one person. (AP)

Nonetheless, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has claimed triumph over the demonstrations, boasting at a government meeting in Tehran on Wednesday they had been “victorious out of yet another test” and that they would “never allow the balance to tilt in favor of the enemy.”

As with all the unrest that has permeated over the past decade, Tehran points fingers of blame toward foreign adversaries, with Rouhani accusing “reactionary regional regimes, the Zionists and the Americans” for the demonstrations. The government this week even set-in-motion a counter-protest movement, deploying hundreds of supporters to the streets as an optical show-of-force against the anti-regime rallies.

“The regime is afraid. The Islamic Republic is now trying to drown out Iranian protestors by attempting to create, or perhaps even bribe or coerce into being, pro-regime demonstrations as a show of victory,” said FDD’s Senior Fellow Behnam Ben Taleblu. “This, of course, is a sham, but is one way the regime is trying to re-establish revolutionary credibility and feign that it remains popular when that is less true than ever before.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19321309567014 Brutal crackdown of Iran protesters points to increasing divide, leadership losing grip: 'The regime is afraid' Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/human-rights fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/world fnc article 96581794-fe89-5f4b-bf9f-db23c18df99b

In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei talks to clerics in his Islamic thoughts class in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. Iran’s supreme leader on Sunday backed the government’s decision to raise gasoline prices and called angry protesters who have been setting fire to public property over the hike “thugs,” signaling a potential crackdown on the demonstrations. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Tensions have long simmered throughout the largely isolated and sanctioned nation, as the currency continues to diminish, and costs have spiked for staple food and household items. Exasperated, once middle-class Iranians have long lamented to Fox News their inability to get jobs, the ascending cost of living, and the inability to travel abroad as Tehran’s diplomatic standing deteriorates.

A number of activists are said to belong to the MEK, also known as the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The Paris-based opposition group is considered to be a terrorist organization in Iran and invokes deep divisions among Iranian people. It was previously listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S State Department, but the designation was removed in 2012 and it has since gone on to gain support from several U.S government officials.

IRANIAN PROTESTS OVER HIKED FUEL PRICES KILL AT LEAST 106 PEOPLE, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL SAYS

But whether or not the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign designed to squeeze the regime to a breaking point economically is harming rather than helping Iranians, is a topic of much debate. Human Rights groups have denounced the crippling financial burdens now being leveled at citizens, while others maintain it’s the only appropriate course of action.

Westlake Legal Group AP19324375055901 Brutal crackdown of Iran protesters points to increasing divide, leadership losing grip: 'The regime is afraid' Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/human-rights fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/world fnc article 96581794-fe89-5f4b-bf9f-db23c18df99b

People walk past a bank that was burned during recent protests, in Shahriar, Iran, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of the capital, Tehran, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Protests over government-set gasoline prices rising struck at least 100 cities and towns, spiraling into violence that saw banks, stores and police stations attacked and burned.  (AP)

The White House this week released a statement in support of the Iranian people and in condemnation of the government, but many regime critics want to see more from Washington.

“The Trump administration somehow has not issued a single new sanctions designation for human rights violations in well over a year. There are over 60 Iranian human rights abusers that the EU sanctioned a long time ago, but the U.S. never has,” added Alan Goldsmith, an analyst with United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI). “Washington should start by sanctioning all of them—and additional people who bear significant responsibility for the repression of the current protests.  The bottom line is the regime is ready, willing, and able to use force to put down protest and unrest; it views its own survival at risk.”

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And in the face of continued bloodshed, Iranians on the ground have pledged to keep fighting.

“Our spirit is high. Something very remarkable for me is that the spirit of cooperation and help has intensified remarkably,” Parvin added.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6105616019001_6105614518001-vs Brutal crackdown of Iran protesters points to increasing divide, leadership losing grip: 'The regime is afraid' Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/human-rights fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/world fnc article 96581794-fe89-5f4b-bf9f-db23c18df99b   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6105616019001_6105614518001-vs Brutal crackdown of Iran protesters points to increasing divide, leadership losing grip: 'The regime is afraid' Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/human-rights fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/world fnc article 96581794-fe89-5f4b-bf9f-db23c18df99b

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American reporter Jason Rezaian, held by Iran for 544 days, awarded $180M for captivity, torture

Washington Post journalist who was held captive and psychologically tortured by the Iranian government for 544 days was awarded $180 million Friday evening in his family’s lawsuit against the Middle Eastern country.

Reporter Jason Rezaian was arrested at gunpoint in Iran along with his wife in 2014 on dubious espionage charges. He was a dual citizen of the U.S. and Iran and was living there with his family at the time.

“Iran seized Jason, threatened to kill Jason, and did so with the goal of compelling the United States to free Iranian prisoners as a condition of Jason’s release,” U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon in Washington, D.C., said in his ruling.

REPORTER JASON REZAIAN REVEALS ‘TORTURE’ HE ENDURED IN IRANIAN PRISON

Westlake Legal Group AP19327094924700 American reporter Jason Rezaian, held by Iran for 544 days, awarded $180M for captivity, torture fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/media fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson article 537fe99c-2fcf-5416-a5a7-d76ac74a7179

Journalist Jason Rezaian participates in a panel discussion on media freedom at United Nations headquarters, Sept. 25, 2019. (Associated Press)

“Holding a man hostage and torturing him to gain leverage in negotiations with the United States is outrageous, deserving of punishment and surely in need of deterrence,” Leon added.

Rezaian was held at Tehran’s Evin prison and convicted by the Revolutionary Guard in a closed court on the unexplained spy charges.

Earlier this year, Rezaian told The Guardian that “for the first six or seven months, [the threat of execution] was pretty regular.”

“It was the constant anxiety of: ‘Are they going to kill me, are they going to keep me forever or am I going to be released tomorrow?’ You don’t know what to believe. That’s the method. That’s the torture,” he said.

Iran has not responded to Rezaian’s lawsuit and it’s unclear how the money would be paid – if at all. It could come from the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund.

This year the Trump administration designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, named as a defendant in Rezaian’s case, as a terrorist organization.

Rezaian has not commented on the ruling.

The Washington Post’s executive editor, Martin Baron, said in a statement on the ruling, “We’ve seen our role as helping the Rezaians through their recovery. Our satisfaction comes from seeing them enjoy their freedom and a peaceful life.”

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Rezaian was released in 2016 and wrote a memoir about his experiences this year called “Prisoner.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP19327094924700 American reporter Jason Rezaian, held by Iran for 544 days, awarded $180M for captivity, torture fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/media fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson article 537fe99c-2fcf-5416-a5a7-d76ac74a7179   Westlake Legal Group AP19327094924700 American reporter Jason Rezaian, held by Iran for 544 days, awarded $180M for captivity, torture fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/media fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson article 537fe99c-2fcf-5416-a5a7-d76ac74a7179

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UN Security Council members critical of US policy shift on Israeli settlements

United Nations Security Council members decried a United States policy shift on Israeli settlements on Wednesday during a meeting where they discussed recent developments in the Middle East, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement two days before.

Council members said they oppose Pompeo’s announcement that the U.S. no longer considers Israeli settlements  a violation of international law.

The members stressed that their stance is that the settlements are illegal and undermine a potential two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION EASES US STANCE TOWARD ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS IN WEST BANK

At the Security Council briefing on the Middle East, British Ambassador to the U.N. Karen Pierce said: “I wanted to stress the U.K. position on settlements hasn’t changed. They are illegal under international law. They present an obstacle to peace. They threaten the physical ability of a two-state solution.”

In a statement sent to Fox News on Monday following Pompeo’s announcement, Vice President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini said, “The European Union’s position on Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace.”

During the meeting on Wednesday, E.U. leaders reiterated that position with a joint statement on behalf of the U.K., Belgium, France, Germany and Poland read by Pierce.

“We call on Israel to end all settlement activity, in line with its obligations as an occupying power,” Pierce read.

The statement went on to say, “We will continue to support a resumption of a meaningful process towards a negotiated two-state solution, the only realistic and viable way to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of both parties.”

Westlake Legal Group UN-Security-Council-AP UN Security Council members critical of US policy shift on Israeli settlements Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world fox-news/us fox-news/politics fox news fnc/world fnc article 68e46112-3b56-5a01-a291-999a0dfb1a92

The U.N. Security Council holds a meeting on the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 at United Nations headquarters.  (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Israeli U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon backed the U.S. action, saying it “rights a historical wrong.” Israel is not a member of the Security Council.

Danon said on Wednesday that he encourages his colleagues from the E.U. “to actually read the statement, look at the content of it, before automatically bashing it.”

“What they are doing [is], they are not supporting the peace process. They think they are helping the Palestinians, but they are doing exactly the opposite. They should tell the Palestinians to sit with Israelis [and] negotiate with them,” Danon said. “What the EU is trying to do is to force the solution to the conflict without negotiations and by doing that, they are actually delaying the negotiations.”

Acting U.S. Deputy Representative to the U.N., Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet, said, “The United States remains committed to the cause of peace, and Monday’s announcement does not alter this fact.”

COEXISTENCE IN A ‘DANGER’ ZONE: AN INSIDE LOOK AT ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS IN THE WEST BANK

“We continue to believe that discussion between the parties is the path to finding a solution that works for both sides and promotes and protects the welfare of Palestinians and Israelis alike,” she said. “But just as we are committed to the cause of peace, we are committed to Israel and its fair treatment at the United Nations.”

For his part, Palestinian Ambassador to the U.N. Riyad Mansour criticized the U.S. for softening its position on Israeli settlements.

“It will only affect the image and credibility of the U.S., or what is left of it,” he added.

Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and quickly began settling the newly conquered territory.

Today, some 700,000 Israelis live in the two areas, which are both claimed by the Palestinians for their state. After the war, it immediately annexed east Jerusalem, home to the holy city’s most important religious sites, in the move that is not internationally recognized.

But Israel has never annexed the West Bank, even as it has dotted the territory with scores of settlements and tiny settlement outposts. While claiming the fate of the settlements is a subject for negotiations, it has steadily expanded them.

Some major settlements have over 30,000 residents, resembling small cities and serving as suburbs of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

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On Wednesday, Mansour Al-Otaibi, Kuwait’s Ambassador, said 14 council members agreed on a press statement saying settlements are illegal and undermine a two-state solution and a 2016 council resolution. However, he said one country objected — a reference to the United States.

Fox News’ Ben Evansky and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group UN-Security-Council-AP UN Security Council members critical of US policy shift on Israeli settlements Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world fox-news/us fox-news/politics fox news fnc/world fnc article 68e46112-3b56-5a01-a291-999a0dfb1a92   Westlake Legal Group UN-Security-Council-AP UN Security Council members critical of US policy shift on Israeli settlements Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world fox-news/us fox-news/politics fox news fnc/world fnc article 68e46112-3b56-5a01-a291-999a0dfb1a92

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Iran’s Ayatollah warns ‘thugs’ as protests escalate over increase gas prices

Iran’s supreme leader on Sunday, commenting on widespread protests over the government’s decision to increase gasoline prices by 50 percent, denounced protesters who have attacked public property as “thugs.”

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s comments were carried live on state television. He said, “some lost their lives and some places were destroyed.”

He specifically targeted those aligned with the family of Iran’s late shah, who was ousted 40 years ago, and an exile group called the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq which has called for the overthrow of Iran’s government.

Westlake Legal Group AP19321309567014 Iran’s Ayatollah warns 'thugs' as protests escalate over increase gas prices fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc caa2bb2f-5381-54ed-95d0-7f5b425e92fb Bradford Betz article

The Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei talks to clerics in his Islamic thoughts class in Tehran, Iran. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

“Setting a bank on fire is not an act done by the people. This is what thugs do,” Khamenei said.

Khamenei ordered security forces “to implement their tasks” and for Iran’s citizens to keep clear of violent demonstrators.

The government has shut down internet access across the nation, making it difficult to gauge whether unrest that took place in a reported 100 cities and towns was continuing. Images published by state and semiofficial media showed images of burned gas stations and banks, torched vehicles and roadways littered with debris.

It remained to be seen how many people were arrested, injured or killed. Videos from the protests have shown some people gravely wounded.

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A gas station that was burned during protests that followed officials’ decision to raise gasoline prices, in Tehran, Iran. (Iranian Students’ News Agency via AP)

Attackers targeting a police station in the city of Kermanshah on Saturday killed an officer, according to the IRNA news agency. A lawmaker said another person was killed in a suburb of Tehran. Earlier, one man was reported killed Friday in Sirjan – about 500 miles southeast of Tehran.

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said the “key perpetrators of the past two days’ riot have been identified and proper action is ongoing,” signaling a possible impending crackdown.

The Fars news agency put the total number of protesters at more than 87,000, saying demonstrators ransacked around 100 banks and stores. Law enforcement arrested some 1,000 people, Fars reported, citing security officials.

The protests have put renewed pressure on Iran’s government as it has struggled to overcome the U.S. sanctions that have strangled the economy since President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the controversial nuclear deal in May 2018.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement Sunday condemning the “lethal force and severe communications restrictions used against demonstrators.”

“Tehran has fanatically pursued nuclear weapons and missile programs, and supported terrorism, turning a proud nation into another cautionary tale of what happens when a ruling class abandons its people and embarks on a crusade for personal power and riches,” the statement read.

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While representing a political risk for Rouhani ahead of February parliamentary elections, the demonstrations also showed widespread anger among the Iranian people, who have seen their savings evaporate amid scarce jobs and the collapse of the national currency, the rial.

Iran is home to the world’s fourth-largest crude oil deposits.

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Gasoline in the country has remained among the cheapest in the world, with the new prices jumping 50 percent to a minimum of 15,000 rials per liter. That’s 13 cents a liter, or about 50 cents a gallon.

A gallon of regular gasoline in the U.S. has been $2.60 on average, by comparison.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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At least 1 dead in Iran protests over gas prices

At least one person was killed in the central Iran city of Sirjan Saturday amid violent protests following the theocratic government’s announcement that it would raise gas prices by 50 percent to fund handouts for the country’s poor.

Protestors flocked to the streets in more than a dozen cities after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced the price increase at midnight Thursday. Demonstrators abandoned cars in traffic and blocked streets in major cities, even as the first snowfall of the season persisted.

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Civilians clashed with police, as authorities used tear gas to quell angry mobs who attempted to set fire to an oil depot in Sirjan. Online videos circulating on Iranian social media seemed to show a fire at the depot as sirens wailed in the background. Another showed a large crowd shouting: “Rouhani, shame on you! Leave the country alone!”

Westlake Legal Group AP19320663006072 At least 1 dead in Iran protests over gas prices Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-politics fox-news/world/global-economy fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article 8886f85a-cf9c-5543-8738-202c98f6016d

A road is blocked by protesters in Tehran Saturday. (Majid Khahi/ISNA via AP)

Mohammad Mahmoudabadi, an Interior Ministry official in Sirjan, later told state television that police and demonstrators exchanged gunfire, wounding several. He said many protestors were peaceful, but later masked men armed with guns and knives infiltrated the demonstration.

“They insisted on reaching the oil depot and creating crises,” Mahmoudabadi said.

The semi-official ISNA news agency later quoted Mahmoudabadi as saying the violence killed one person.

Westlake Legal Group AP19320584183542 At least 1 dead in Iran protests over gas prices Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-politics fox-news/world/global-economy fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article 8886f85a-cf9c-5543-8738-202c98f6016d

Smoke rises during a protest in the city of Isfahan Saturday. (AP Photo)

The protests only add to the turmoil Iran’s government faces as it struggles to overcome hefty U.S. sanctions following Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal last year. Since then, tensions between the two nations have only intensified, especially in the wake of reports that Iran has been slowly violating its provisions to pressure other nations to provide more incentives.

Iran has the world’s fourth-largest crude oil reserves and cheapest gas prices as well. The recent price increase saw gas climb to a minimum of 15,000 rials per liter of gas — 50 percent up from the day before, which amounts to 13 cents a liter, or about 50 cents a gallon. A gallon of regular gasoline in the U.S. costs $2.60 by comparison.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP19320487316696 At least 1 dead in Iran protests over gas prices Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-politics fox-news/world/global-economy fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article 8886f85a-cf9c-5543-8738-202c98f6016d   Westlake Legal Group AP19320487316696 At least 1 dead in Iran protests over gas prices Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-politics fox-news/world/global-economy fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article 8886f85a-cf9c-5543-8738-202c98f6016d

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Bar offers women free drinks based on how much they weigh

A bar in Dubai is making headlines over a promotion offering free drinks to women based on how much they weigh.

Fusion Club, located inside the Cassells Al Barsha Hotel, says the more female customers weigh the more free drinks they can get.

Female patrons can redeem the “it’s good to gain weight” promotion by either weighing themselves on a scale located inside the bar or they can discreetly write their weight down on a piece a paper for the bartender, according to Insider.

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The written weight option does not require authentication because the bar’s management respects the “magnanimity of our lady guests.”

Women get one Emirate dirham (UAE’s currency) for every kilogram they weigh. A female patron weighing 150 pounds, for example, would get $68 AED worth of free drinks, which is about $18.50 in US dollars.

Unfortunately for male customers, the drink special does not apply to them.

Westlake Legal Group Woman-at-bar-iStock Bar offers women free drinks based on how much they weigh Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/travel fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/food-drink/drinks/bars fox news fnc/food-drink fnc bc381d82-387a-501e-a3e6-c943b17fe618 article

A bar in Dubai is making headlines over a promotion offering free drinks to women based on how much they weigh. (Photo: iStock)

“Although we have a weighing machine at the bar entrance, we do not insist our guests to verify the weight,” said the hotel’s manager Anil Kumar.

The United Arab Emirates club said it believes in “being different than the rest of the nightclubs and hotels in making our guests delighted.”

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“We wanted the ladies to surprise their partners and friends that it’s good to gain weight!” Kumar said.

Though some outlets in Dubai reported that the public has had mixed responses to the drink promotion, the club said it has extended through the end of the year.

“We don’t have to be too serious on everything,” Kumar said. “Dubai is a city for entertainment and fun. We never ask women to check their weight, we trust them and just serve whatever number they wrote on the paper without asking questions. Therefore, we don’t see any reason to feel any bad intention about the offer.”

“We don’t have to be too serious on everything”

— Fusion Club manager says of drink promotion

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The bar offers other “crazy and unique” promotions every month that are “enjoyed by both men and women.”

One previous deal offered free drinks every night to women between 30 and 40.

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Westlake Legal Group Woman-at-bar-iStock Bar offers women free drinks based on how much they weigh Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/travel fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/food-drink/drinks/bars fox news fnc/food-drink fnc bc381d82-387a-501e-a3e6-c943b17fe618 article   Westlake Legal Group Woman-at-bar-iStock Bar offers women free drinks based on how much they weigh Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/travel fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/food-drink/drinks/bars fox news fnc/food-drink fnc bc381d82-387a-501e-a3e6-c943b17fe618 article

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