The chief of Iran’s army has offered to supply troops to the country’s police forces as they work to suppress rising anger and protests.

“Although this blind sedition was so small that a portion of the police force was able to nip it in the bud … you can rest assured that your comrades in the Islamic Republic’s army would be ready to confront the dupes of the Great Satan (United States),” Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi was quoted as saying.

Already, 21 protesters have been killed by police and other factions.

The protests began a week ago and involve mostly students, educated Iranians and working-class poor. They are calling on the country’s theocratic regime and President Hassan Rhouhani to step down and allow democratic reforms. They also say they’re tired of anti-Western sloganeering and opposition.

After six days of protests, the elite Revolutionary Guards Corps said on Wednesday that it had deployed forces to quell unrest in three provinces where most of the trouble had occurred.

That was the clearest sign so far that the regime was taking the protests seriously. [source]