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Pro-government rallies held in Iran to protest violence

07 January 2018

But protests soon erupted in many mid-sized towns as well as the capital Tehran, where demonstrators chanted slogans directly against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in Iran, and the Islamic Republic as a whole.One video, obtained by Radio Free Europe's Persian-language service Radio Farda, showed people chanting "Seyed Ali [Khamenei] shame on you". "The enemy is always looking for an opportunity and any crevice to infiltrate and strike the Iranian nation".

"He will be a lame-duck president and Khamenei will have more power". The local governor said the protesters were armed.

But they along with the hardline security establishment also warned authorities would crack down on any violence after some protesters attacked government buildings and banks.

The president said residents should be united in dealing with the problem.

"The President and Vice-President of the United States, in their numerous absurd tweets, incited Iranians to engage in disruptive acts", the ambassador wrote to the U.N. Security Council president and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

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The 2015 agreement, in which Iran curbed its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of some worldwide sanctions, remains popular in Iran, but one of the central grievances of the protesters is that average Iranians have seen few benefits from it.

U.S. secondary sanctions and threats to pull out of the nuclear deal despite Tehran's compliance have contributed to Iran not fully benefiting from the nuclear deal.

Mr Rouhani described the United States president as an "enemy of the Iranian nation from the top of his head to his very toes" after Mr Trump said Iranians were "finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism".

Until then, the Trump administration should do its best to publicize and promote the legitimate political and economic grievances of frustrated Iranians and support their efforts to recover freedom from an Islamist dictatorship that depends on thugs to suppress its own people.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi slammed on Tuesday the USA president for his rude comments, saying he should address his own country's problems instead of interfering in other countries. He said a firefighting vehicle was seized by rioters and crashed into another auto, in which a man and a young boy were killed, ISNA reported.

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What are the protests about? .

Thousands rallied on Thursday in support of the government in various towns and cities, including in the northeastern city of Mashhad, where the anti-government protests began last week and extended to other cities. State TV reported on Tuesday that the latest clashes between protesters and security forces have killed nine more people.

Some of the early protests in Mashhad reportedly were organized by ultra-hard-line regime supporters opposed to Rouhani, and may have been created to undermine his authority. In contrast to the demonstrations that became known as the Green Movement, the protests today appear leaderless and are according to some reports drawing more participants from lower-income classes than in 2009.

The past week's protests have been the largest since the disputed 2009 presidential election, which ended in bloodshed. "Leave the country alone"; protesters are also seen tearing down a poster of the supreme leader.

Protests have remained confined to relatively small pockets of mostly young male demonstrators who are demanding the overthrow of the clerical regime.

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Pro-government rallies held in Iran to protest violence