World

US calls for Iran protest crackdown videos

By AAP Newswire

As the internet is slowly being revived across Iran after a days-long, government-imposed shutdown amid demonstrations, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is calling for Iranians to send the US videos "documenting the regime's crackdown" on protesters.

"The US will expose and sanction the abuses," Pompeo tweeted early on Friday as pockets of Iran saw internet over landlines restored.

Authorities have said the internet may be entirely restored soon, suggesting Iran's government put down the demonstrations that began November 15 over government-set petrol prices rising.

Amnesty International said on Tuesday that protest unrest and a subsequent security crackdown killed at least 106 people.

Iran disputes that figure without offering its own. A UN office earlier said it feared the unrest may have killed "a significant number of people".

The jump in petrol prices represents yet another burden on Iranians who have suffered through a painful currency collapse.

That's a result of the reimposition of crippling US economic sanctions as part of President Donald Trump's maximum pressure campaign against Tehran following his unilateral withdrawal of the US from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Iran's relatively moderate President Hassan Rouhani has promised the fuel price increase will fund new subsidies for poor families.

Rouhani declared victory on Wednesday in the unrest, blaming "the Zionists and Americans" for the violence.

In Tehran's suburbs, people described the assailants in the unrest as moving quickly, something mentioned by others.

Service stations and banks, both private and state-owned, were seriously damaged.

"Everything happened in seconds," homemaker Maliheh Qorani said in Tehran's western Tehransar neighbuorhood.

"Dozens of young and organised men smashed the windows of the bank and threw (petrol bombs) into the building."

Abolhassan Firoozabadi, the secretary of Iran's Supreme Cyberspace Council, told journalists on Thursday he believed the internet would be turned on "within the next two days".

Authorities restored internet service on Thursday in Iran's Hormozgan province, home to the port city of Bandar Abbas, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Semi-official news agencies said service was being restored in other parts of the country on Thursday afternoon, something the internet watchdog NetBlocks also noted.