(Bloomberg) — About three-quarters of Iranians surveyed in a government-backed poll said they supported the rights of protesters to take to the streets in last month’s countrywide demonstrations, a reformist newspaper reported.The Iranian Students’ Polling Agency, which surveyed 2,027 people in the province of Tehran, also found that 62% of respondents saw “dialogue with protesters” as the government’s best means of addressing popular discontent, the daily Etemad newspaper said.The expression of support, especially in a survey conducted by a state-backed polling organization, suggests that grievances still run deep in Iran. Triggered by a steep rise in gasoline prices, November’s protests met with a violent crackdown, becoming the bloodiest in Iran since the 1979 revolution.The government so far hasn’t provided an official death toll for the unrest, but the London-based rights group Amnesty International estimates that some 304 people were killed by security forces.The demonstrations spread to scores of cities and towns throughout the country and several of Tehran’s districts and its outskirts were swept up in the unrest.Officials have consistently claimed that the majority of those who took part in demonstrations and clashed with police were “rioters” and “terrorists” acting on behalf of foreign governments. Hundreds of people remain in prison.The most deadly violence took place in the oil-rich, Arab-speaking province of Khuzestan, which the ISPA survey doesn’t cover.According to the survey, 71% of people said impartiality at Iran’s state broadcaster, which holds a monopoly over the country’s entire broadcasting services, was “low” or “very low” when it came to covering the protests. Some 90% of respondents said they used alternative news sources such as social media and satellite TV.To contact the reporter on this story: Arsalan Shahla in Tehran at ashahla@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net, Paul Abelsky, Alaa ShahineFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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