Clergyman Faces Iran Collapse Site
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Clergyman Faces Iran Collapse Site

Protesters angry over the collapse of a building in Iran that killed at least 32 people have shouted at an emissary sent by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sparking a crackdown in which riot police clubbed protesters and fired tear gas, according to videos posted online. Are placed.

Clergyman Faces Iran Collapse Site

The demonstration was a direct challenge to the Iranian government’s response to the disaster a week ago, as pressure mounts in the Islamic Republic over rising food prices and other economic problems as it unravels its nuclear deal with world powers.

While the protests appear leaderless, even Arab tribes in the region appeared to join them on Sunday, raising the risk of mounting unrest.

Ayatollah Mohsen Heidari AleKasir tried to address upset mourners near the site of the 10-story Metropol building, but the hundreds who gathered Sunday night were captivated and screamed.

Surrounded by bodyguards, the ayatollah, in his sixties, tried to carry on but was unsuccessful.

“What is going on?” the cleric whispered to a bodyguard, who leaned over to tell him something.

The cleric then tried to address the crowd again: “My darlings, please remain calm, as a sign of respect for Abadan, his martyrs, and the dear (victims) the entire Iranian nation mourns tonight.”

The crowd responded by yelling, “Shameless!”

A live state television broadcast of the event was then cut off.

Later, protesters chanted, “I will kill; I will kill whoever killed my brother!”

Tehran-based daily Hamshahri and Fars news agency said the protesters attacked the platform where state television had set up its camera, interrupting the broadcast.

Police ordered the crowd not to chant slogans against the Islamic Republic and then ordered them to leave, calling their rally illegal.

Video later showed officers confronting protesters and batting as clouds of tear gas rose.

At least one officer fired what appeared to be a shotgun, although it was not clear whether it was life or so-called “beanbag” bullets intended to stun.

It was not immediately clear whether anyone was injured or the police had made any arrests.

The details in the videos matched known features of Abadan, 660 km southwest of the capital Tehran.

Farsi-language television channels based abroad described tear gas and other shots fired.

After the tower collapsed in Abadan on Monday, authorities acknowledged that the building’s owner and corrupt government officials had allowed the building to be built, despite concerns about shoddy workmanship.

Authorities have arrested 13 people, including the city’s mayor, as part of a wide-ranging investigation into the disaster.

Rescue teams pulled three more bodies from the rubble on Monday, bringing the death toll in the collapse to 32, according to state news agency IRNA.

Authorities fear more people may be trapped under the rubble.