Iran hard-liners rally as new protests over economic system…

Iran hard-liners rally as new protests over economic system…

Khademi said he didn't know who fired the shots. The city is a conservative bastion and a stronghold of Ebrahim Raisi, a cleric who unsuccessfully challenged President Hassan Rouhani in last year's election.

Since Thursday, groups of protesters have held rallies in several cities across the country to voice their anger over rising prices, unemployment and corruption.

In 2015, Iran's leaders grudgingly agreed to a nuclear deal so the US and its allies would lift suffocating economic sanctions.

Iran's supreme leader accused the country's enemies on Tuesday of being behind days of street unrest, as the death toll from anti-government demonstrations rose to 22, according to Reuters.

How have the authorities responded?

Six protesters were killed during an attack on a police station in the town of Qahderijan in that province.

Pence said the Trump administration and Congress are developing legislation that would immediately re-impose all nuclear- and missile-related sanctions if Iran resumes attempts to develop an atomic bomb and missiles to deliver a bomb.

Officials said two people were killed when what were described as rioters seized a fire engine and then crashed into two other vehicles.

Early chants about price hikes have given way to increasingly bold criticisms of what the protesters see as a corrupt and repressive government that fails to meet their needs. But Rouhani and other officials have warned that the government won't hesitate to crack down on those it considers lawbreakers.

The United Nations' high commissioner for human rights, meanwhile, called on Iran to investigate all deaths in the protests and act "with great care so as not to further inflame violence and unrest".

"His power is limited in Iran's ruling system". However, they have said protest rallies are different from vandalism and violent actions. At least 30 people died and thousands were arrested.

Russia: US Call for UN Meeting on Iran "Destructive"
Donald Trump has tweeted his support for the anti-government protesters, warning Iran that the " world is watching ". ReutersThe US has faced criticism for bringing the protests in Iran to the floor of the UN.

A photo from social media shows a protest in Tehran on December 30. Protesters have chanted against Rouhani as well as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In Tehran's Engheleb Square, police used tear gas and water cannons.

What about the war of words with Donald Trump?

Tensions between the U.S. and Israel on one side and Iran on the other have reached new heights since Mr. Trump took office in January 2017. But the protests might soon be quelled, dissolve into competing camps led by rival leaders, or be hijacked by hostile anti-Western forces, as numerous Arab Spring revolts were hijacked.

The anti-regime protests in Iran enters in its second week.

Pro-regime demonstrations denouncing the 2009 Green Movement leaders also may have provoked a political backlash.

They have spread to small towns throughout the country and have the potential to grow in size. Lawmakers in both parties have also expressed support for the protesters.

BBC Persian, which broadcasts on TV, on radio and online from London, is banned in Iran - where staff and their families routinely face harassment and questioning from the authorities. "With the demonstrations lacking clear leadership or a coherently articulated positive programme, the tide ultimately will turn back in the regime's favour, helped by a range of concessions and targeted crackdowns", Ghoncheh Tazmini, an associate member of the Centre for Iranian Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, told TWW.Dr. Vaez also saw an opportunity for President Rouhani, who could "leverage public discontent to push the political establishment toward structural changes so fervently desired by the population".

The protesters have little chance of toppling the clerical leaders, who appear to be retaining control of the military, police and security forces and have no compunction about using them, according to one USA official following the developments.

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