In this file photo an Iranian national flag flutters during the opening ceremony of the 16th International Oil, Gas & Petrochemical Exhibition (IOGPE) in Tehran April 15, 2011. (REUTERS/STR)
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A top Islamic scholar in Iran's second largest city of Mashhad called for tough action by security forces after hundreds of people took to the streets to protest against high prices and shouted anti-government slogans, state news agency IRNA said Friday.Police arrested 52 people in Thursday's protests, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted a judicial official as saying in Mashhad, one of the holiest places in Shiite Islam.Political protests are rare in Iran. Protests were also held in at least two other northeastern cities.Alamolhoda, the representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in northeastern Mashhad, said a few people had taken advantage of Thursday's protests against rising prices to raise slogans against Iran's involvement in regional conflicts.
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