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Iran's Revolutionary Guard Vows to Crush Anti-Government Protests

01 January, 2018, 00:52 | Author: Priscilla Morrison

State media began to show footage of the protests on Sunday, focusing on attacks by young men against banks and vehicles, an attack on a town hall in Tehran, and images of a man burning the Iranian flag. Police there used water cannon and tear gas to disperse demonstrators. The videos purportedly showed injured people lying on the ground and being carried away from the protest, as well as being treated in a local hospital.

US President Donald Trump took to Twitter late on Friday, writing: "Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime's corruption & its squandering of the nation's wealth to fund terrorism overseas".

His tweets the previous day angered Iran's government, leading a foreign ministry spokesman to say the "Iranian people give no credit to the deceitful and opportunist remarks of USA officials or Mr Trump". "The world is watching!"

"Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime's corruption & its squandering of the nation's wealth to fund terrorism overseas", Trump wrote on Twitter, echoing an earlier White House statement.

The violence comes as separate state-sponsored rallies took place around the country to mark the end of the unrest that shook the country in 2009. "It's no wonder that many Iranians are bravely standing up and speaking out against the Iranian leadership", he said.

"This person whose whole being is against the nation of Iran has no right to feel pity for the people of Iran".

The video showed a protester chanting, "I will kill whoever killed my brother!"




Some analysts rejected the US' comments as simply driven by politics. As of Sunday, no statement had been issued by Federica Mogherini, the European Union's high representative for foreign policy, nor Europe's main foreign ministries - although British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson did tweet that he was watching "events in Iran with concern".

An official in Arak, around 300 kilometres (190 miles) southwest of Tehran, said 80 people had been detained there overnight. Iran's official news agency.

A large section of society believes thre is "no accountabiility over where money is being spent", he said.

Iranian hard-liners rallied on Saturday in support of the country's supreme leader and clerically overseen government as spontaneous protests sparked by anger over the ailing economy hit major cities in the Islamic Republic.

"Iranian authorities are blocking access to Telegram for the majority of Iranians after our public refusal to shut down https://t.me/sedaiemardom and other peacefully protesting channels", Pavel Durov wrote on Twitter Sunday.Iranian authorities are blocking access to Telegram for the majority of Iranians after our public refusal to shut down https://t.co/9E4kXZYcP9 and other peacefully protesting channels. It "has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state" whose "longest-suffering victims ... are, in fact, its own people". "Yes, there is an increase in the prices of some products and the government is working on fixing causes of high prices", he said.

"Solving people's economic problems is the chief priority in the country", tweeted Ebrahim Raisi, the hard-line cleric defeated by Rouhani in May's presidential election. Their intention was to "maintain peace", according to state television, but protesters saw the move as a direct crackdown on their efforts, which have been fueled by publicity on social media.

It is the biggest display of dissent since huge pro-reform rallies in 2009.

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