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Iran Urges France to Heed Protesters’ Demands Rather Than Stoke Unrest in Other Countries
By Staff, Agencies
The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry has called upon French authorities to respond to the demands of hundreds of thousands of mainly peaceful protesters who have marched across the country against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform, rather than to stoke unrest in other countries.
Nasser Kanaani, in a series of posts published on his Twitter page on Friday, reacted to protests over the French government’s plan to lift the retirement age from 62 to 64 without a parliamentary vote.
“It is reported that protesters have set fire to the town hall in Bordeaux, and that firefighters have joined nationwide protests” in the latest of a series of violent protests that are rocking France, Kanaani noted.
“They that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind,” the senior Iranian diplomat continued, noting that while Tehran does not support destruction and chaos; it declares that French officials should rather yield to their people’s demands and avoid violence against them than to provoke chaos in other countries.
Kanaani wrote in another tweet that “The French government should talk to its people and listen to their voices. This kind of violence has nothing to do with leaning on the chair of moral lessons and preaching to others.”
“French protesters are also waiting to see the collective video clip of European, Australian and Canadian female ministers in support of French protesting women,” the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry pointed out.
On Thursday, protesters gathered across France to demonstrate their opposition to the legislation to raise the retirement age by two years to 64.
Unions claimed 3.5 million people turned out across the country, while the authorities suggested the figure was much lower, at just under 1.1 million.
In the capital Paris, union leaders claimed that a record 800,000 people took part in a mostly peaceful march through the city – the police gave the figure as 119,000 – to demand that the government drop the fiercely contested change.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said 123 police officers had been injured and 80 people arrested across the country.
Earlier, workers blocked access to a terminal at the Charles de Gaulle airport, forcing some travelers to get there on foot.
Train services were also disrupted and some schools shut while garbage piled up on the streets, and electricity output was cut, as unions pressured the government to withdraw the law that delays retirement by two years.
Plumes of smoke were seen rising from burning piles of debris blocking traffic on a highway near Toulouse, in southwestern France, and wildcat strikes briefly blocked roads in other cities as well.
President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that the legislation – which his government pushed through the French Parliament without a vote last week – would come into force by year-end despite the escalating tensions.
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