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Apr 16, 11:56 AM EDT

Thousands of teachers in Iran demand higher wages

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's semi-official ILNA news agency says thousands of teachers have staged nationwide protests demanding higher wages.

The report says peaceful protests were held Thursday in several cities, including the capital, Tehran.

It says the teachers gathered in silence in front of provincial Education Ministry buildings. In Tehran, hundreds of teachers gathered in front of parliament.

The protesters carried placards in which they asked for higher wages and demanded the release of teachers allegedly detained in similar protests last month.

Iran's Education Ministry has promised to increase wages, without providing further details.

The Islamic Republic is currently under heavy sanctions over its nuclear program. Western nations have long suspected Iran of pursuing a weapons capability, while Tehran insists its atomic program is only for civilian purposes.

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