Anti-government protests continued in several cities in northern Iran through Saturday, August 4. According to state media reports, a seminary in Eshtehard (Alborz province) was attacked by approximately 500 demonstrators the night (local time) of Friday, August 3, causing minor damage before police dispersed the crowd. Hundreds of people allegedly participated in additional protests in Tehran, Mashhad (Razavi Khorasan province), Karaj (Alborz province), and Qazvin (Qazvin province). Additional related protests are expected across Iran in the coming days. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be anticipated near protest sites. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Demonstrations broke out on July 31 over deteriorating economic conditions. The protests were spurred by a sudden depreciation of the Iranian rial (IRR), which lost 18 percent of its value in just two days on July 30 and 31.
Concerns over US sanctions on Iran, which will go into effect on August 6, are contributing to the rial's tumble, which has lost over 60 percent of its value since the beginning of 2018. On June 25, the Iranian government announced an import ban on over 1300 products that can be produced domestically rather than imported, indicating that Iran may return to a "resistance economy" similar to the operating model used until 2016, during the previous round of international sanctions.
Individuals in Iran are advised to monitor developments to the situation, strictly avoid all protests and demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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