Tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets of the capital of Tehran and other major cities to protest government policies, the first such protests since 2009.
And while the elite Republican Guards Corps vowed to crush the protests if they continued to be violent, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country’s people have the right to protest and criticize but that such actions must be for the good.
The government and the people must “work hand-in-hand” and “as partners,” and concerns about household incomes, corruption and transparency in state institutions must be addressed, he added.
Earlier, government security forces arrested about 200 people, while authorities limited access to the country’s most popular social media platform.
Two people died in clashes with security forces late Saturday in the western city of Dorud, the first casualties since anti-government protests erupted on Thursday.
These are extremely rare protests against Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
President Trump tweeted that the “U.S. is watching” for any human rights violations. Trump has also been supportive of the protestors.
The Revolutionary Guard, whose principal mission is to safeguard the Islamic Revolution, warned late Saturday that it would respond with “a hard punch” if demonstrations didn’t stop. [source]
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