Security forces opened fire and killed "rioters," Iranian state television said on Tuesday, in the first admission of violence since last month's protests. The fatalities included people who targeted military locations and took some areas hostage, along with bystanders, security forces, and peaceful protesters.
How significant is the admission? The report could be more of a scare tactic to discourage further protests rather than an admission of guilt. Iran has still not provided any nationwide statistics about the toll of the crackdown on demonstrations. The clashes began Nov. 15 after the government announced a 50 percent increase in gas prices. On Monday, Amnesty International said at least 208 people died in protests across the country, adding the actual number could be much higher. The highest death toll was in the city of Shahriar in Tehran province, the report said.