Tehran (Agencies): Iran on Sunday called for calm after protests over water shortages in a southern city turned violent overnight with reports of police shooting at demonstrators who attacked banks and public buildings.
“No one has been killed in the unrest and just one person has been wounded in a shooting,” said Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, quoted by the state news agency IRNA.
“Our effort is to bring these protests to an end as soon as possible with restraint from police and the cooperation of authorities, but if the opposite happens, the judiciary and law enforcement forces will carry out their duties,” Rahmani Fazli was quoted as saying.
Shots could be heard on videos circulated on social media from the protests in Khorramshahr, which has been the scene of demonstrations for the past three days, along with the nearby city of Abadan. The videos could not be authenticated by Reuters.
State television showed banks with broken windows and footage appearing to shows an identified demonstrator armed with a rifle.
Police fired tear gas as protesters set fire to a bridge, and to a garden surrounding a museum which is a memorial to the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, state media said.
Speaking before the clashes, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday that the United States was acting together with Gulf Arab states that regard Iran as their main regional foe in trying to destabilise the government in Tehran.