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The White House Condemns 'Lethal Force' Against Iran Protesters

An Iranian man checks a scorched gas station that was set ablaze by protesters during a demonstration against a rise in gasoline prices in Eslamshahr, near the Iranian capital of Tehran, on November 17, 2019.

The United States has denounced the use of force against protesters in Iran and the near total communications blackout imposed since Saturday.

Although the government tries to strictly control news about the protests, citizen and activist reports speak of tens of people killed. The government Sunday acknowledged the death of three people.

A White House statement on November 17 expressed "support" for "the Iranian people in their peaceful protests."

"We condemn the lethal force and severe communications restrictions used against demonstrators," the statement said.

The statement came three days after protests broke out over a government announcement that it was rationing gasoline purchases and cutting subsidized prices for gasoline amid biting U.S. sanctions.

Earlier, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had voiced support for the Iranian people, tweeting that "The United States is with you".

Meanwhile, authorities in Iran have warned of a harsh response to the massive protests that have reached a reported 100 towns and cities across the country.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on November 17, without elaborating, that "some lost their lives and some places were destroyed" during the protests. He called the demonstrators "thugs."

His comments came after clashes between protesters and police in several cities. Iran's Fars News Agency reported that about 1,000 people had been arrested.

According to state media reports, more than 100 banks and shops have been set on fire during the demonstrations.

Iran Protests Videos November 16
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