April 25, 2018

Iran protests: Supreme leader Khamenei blames 'enemies'

06 January 2018, 01:41 | Rufus Hill

Death toll rises in Iran amid wave of anti-government protests

Trump to Iran: '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", he tweeted, on Friday.

Pro- and anti-government demonstrators took to the streets starting December 28, 2017, and gradually moved from the outer cities into the capital, Tehran, and Iran's second-largest city, Mashhad.

People take part in pro-government rallies in Iran on January 3.

It remains hard for journalists to piece together what's happening beyond the capital, especially as the government has blocked both the photo-sharing app Instagram and the messaging app Telegram, which protesters have used to organize their demonstrations and share footage.

Peek, a former military intelligence officer, told the news outlet that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been "tone deaf" in his reaction to the demonstrations.

The latest demonstrations came despite President Hassan Rouhani's vow that the nation would deal with "rioters and lawbreakers".

As the demonstrations escalated, pro-government protesters flooded the streets on Saturday to counter the anti-corruption activists.

President Trump's tweets on the ongoing Iran protests were immediate, have been daily and are likely to grow and transform into real change for Iranians. They also shook Iran's second-largest city, Mashhad. Police disperse protesters with water cannons and make some arrests. One member of the security forces was reported killed on Monday.

The State Department announced Tuesday that it would use Facebook and Twitter to communicate directly with Iranian protesters, posting in Farsi on the social media platforms.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his "regret" at the bloodshed in Iran, saying the U.N. expects "the rights to peaceful assembly and expression of the Iranian people will be respected".

Demonstrators protest high prices and the poor state of the economy in Dorud Iran on Saturday. Salam Pix  Abaca Press  Sipa USA via AP
Demonstrators protest high prices and the poor state of the economy in Dorud Iran on Saturday. Salam Pix Abaca Press Sipa USA via AP

Two people were killed overnight, becoming the first deaths attributed to the rallies.

. Hundreds have been arrested; the death toll is climbing. "They don't let anyone assemble".

Haley rejected as "complete nonsense" Khamenei's charges that the protests were being fomented by Iran's "enemies".

A statement from the French presidency said Macron called for "restraint", and both sides agreed to postpone an imminent visit to Tehran by the French foreign minister.

The working-class anger behind a week of unrest in Iran will pose an increasingly potent challenge to Tehran's ruling clerics as economic and social pressures mount, even if the current protests peter out, analysts said Wednesday.

"We believe it is necessary to avoid violence and not succumb to provocations", the Turkish Foreign Ministry said, adding that it hoped foreign intervention would be avoided. "All freedom-loving people must stand with their cause". "Oppressive regimes can not endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice. The world is watching!" Iran's chief justice warned that protesters could face charges of "moharebeh", or waging war against God, a capital offense. "The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism". "They look at what they see on Instagram or Telegram and compare that to their prospects, and naturally they get angry". His unwillingness to accept responsibility and offer words of contrition might leave the increasingly defiant people of Iran no choice but radical change.

Obama and the Iranian regime sold the world the idea that the nuclear agreement, appeasement policies towards the mullahs, and the lifting of United Nations sanctions would supposedly help the Iranian people and make the Iranian government a constructive player. The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights.

The Harper government cited several reasons for closing the Canadian embassy in Tehran and ejecting all Iranian diplomats from Canada in 2012, including Iran's support for terror and its abysmal human rights record.

Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, called on the global community to speak out on the unfolding protests in Iran, saying the US would seek emergency UN talks on the situation.

Rouhani pushed back on Trump's remarks, saying the USA president had no right to sympathize with protesters because he "called the Iranian nation terrorists a few months ago".

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