Canada expresses support for people protesting in Iran

01 January, 2018, 03:08 | Author: Lester Mason
  • People protest in Tehran Iran

Trump's tweets the previous day angered Iran's government, leading the Foreign Ministry spokesman to say the "Iranian people give no credit to the deceitful and opportunist remarks of USA officials or Mr. Trump".

"This is not like anything I have seen before, there are people from everywhere, protesting against everything" said Layla, a young media professional.

The demonstrations became so widely publicized that Iran blocked access to Instagram and a popular messaging app used by activists to organize and discuss the protests.

The protests have included chants and slogans against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the clerical leadership in power since 1979 revolution.

In a tweet on Sunday, Amir-Abdollahian told Trump: "Do not get excited".

In his first public comments, Mr Rouhani criticised Mr Trump.

"Those who misused cyberspace and spread violence are absolutely known to us and we will definitely confront them", Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said on state television.

"This man, who is an enemy of the Iranian nation from the top of his head to his very toes, has no right to sympathise with Iranians", he added.

Iran's hardline media have said justified criticism of the government has been hijacked by a wider foreign plot to sow sedition in the country.

He acknowledged grievances over the economic situation, a lack of transparency and corruption but defended his record. He added, however, that the demonstrations should not devolve into violence or anti-government chants.

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Why are social networks being restricted?

In a tightly controlled media environment, much of the information about the demonstrations has emerged via social media, and platforms like Telegram and Instagram have been used extensively by protesters.

On Sunday, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov said on Twitter that authorities had cut off access to the app.

Protesters "must certainly know that improper behavior will be to their detriment, and the nation will come out and stand against these actions and throw a hard punch in their faces", the Revolutionary Guard's commander for security in Tehran, Brigadier General Esmail Kowsari, said according to a statement carried by the semi-official Iranian Students' News Agency late Saturday.

The Iranian government is denying responsibility for the deaths and unrest.

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Where will the protests lead?

At least one of the videos was verified by BBC Persian.

The Mehr news agency reported Sunday that the two protesters were killed in Doroud, in Iran's Lorestan province.

He did not offer a cause of death for the two protesters, but said "no bullets were shot from police and security forces at the people". Scores of people are reported to have been arrested in recent days, including 200 in Tehran on Saturday night.

The rallies are the largest since revolts against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 2009.

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