Iranian protesters attacked a religious school in Karaj province near Tehran, the conservative Fars news agency reported Saturday, as sporadic protests simmered ahead of the reimposition of US sanctions.
Iranian authorities have barely mentioned days of protests in the major cities of Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad and Tehran, driven by concerns over the economy as well as wider anger at the political system.
During past unrest, conservative outlets have focused on attacks against sensitive symbols such as religious buildings as a way of tarnishing the protests.
“At 9 pm (1530 GMT on Friday) they attacked the school and tried to break the doors down and burn things,” Fars quoted the head of the school in the town of Ishtehad, Hojatoleslam Hindiani, as saying.
Remaining sanctions including on Iran’s oil and gas sector and central bank — will resume on November 5.
Although smaller foreign firms have vowed to work around the US measures, multinationals such as France’s Total and Peugeot, and Germany’s Siemens have already said they will have to pull out.
Increased US hostility has also driven a run on Iran’s currency, which has lost around two-thirds of its value in six months.
It is not yet clear how all this will affect ordinary Iranians, but a Western diplomat in Tehran who monitors the economy said prices of basic foods were already creeping up.
She said; “We are already seeing car prices going through the roof over fears about raw material imports. In November, when oil sales are affected, we will have a clearer view of the impact on daily lives.”
She said the collapse in the value of the rial was not driven by purely economic factors but instead by people rushing to buy gold or hard currency as a safe haven for their savings because they do not trust the government to improve the situation.