Iran holds pro-government rallies after days of protest

Iran crackdown intensifies after police posts attacked

"Officials must acknowledge the deplorable situation of the country as the first step to hearing the protesters", tweeted Mohammad Taghi Karroubi, whose father Mehdi Karroubi has been under house arrest for nearly seven years for helping lead the 2009 demonstrations.

How widespread is the unrest?

President Hassan Rouhani has tried to play down the unrest, which began over economic grievances in second city Mashhad last Thursday but quickly turned against the regime as a whole with chants of "Death to the dictator".

At least 21 people died and more than 400 were arrested in nationwide protests that began December 28, Iranian media reported.

The move was apparently seeking to calm nerves amid clashes that have killed at least 21 people.

Of the nine people killed Monday, seven were protesters. Numerous protesters are young Iranians exhausted of the lack of economic opportunity in the country.

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani also said certain countries are waging a "proxy war" against the Islamic Republic via social media and the internet.

How have the authorities responded? Dozens of protestors in Rasht staged a non-violent sit-in in the face of oncoming security forces mounted on motorcycles. It's not surprising then, that an Iranian official admitted that more than 90 percent of people who have been arrested in this uprising are under 25 years old and don't have a criminal record. But as the protests spread, the clampdown intensified.

"We want to encourage the protesters to continue to fight for what's right and to open up Iran", Goldstein said.

Iran´s Revolutionary Guards chief announced the "end of the sedition" Wednesday as tens of thousands rallied in a show of strength for the country´s Islamic rulers after days of deadly unrest.

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These Iranian Americans say the nations of the world should defend the right to peaceful protest.

Reformists and conservatives have blamed each other and foreign powers for sparking the unrest. He told VOA that "the people are angry, especially young people", and everyone is anxious there will be more violence.

A recent BBC Persian investigation found that on average, Iranians have become 15% poorer over the past decade, and that their consumption of bread, milk and red meat has decreased by between 30% and 50%.

Interior Minister Abdolrahman Rahmani Fazli calls on the public to avoid "illegal gatherings" as "they will create problems for themselves". Young people - more than half of the population is under 30 - are affected particularly badly. Rouhani promised greater social and political openness, as well as a revived economy after years of worldwide sanctions, but he has been unable to deliver much change in a nation where the ruling clerics must approve all major decisions. Israeli decision-makers see a nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat. Many also say they can not cope with further welfare cuts and price rises.

The Trump administration and members of Congress are working on a new set of nuclear-and missile-related Iran sanctions that would replace the 2015 nuclear agreement, Vice President Mike Pence said in an interview.

Millions of people took to the streets to demand a re-run amid allegations of widespread fraud.

This refers to all individuals aged 10 and above who contributed to the output of goods and services (employed) or had the ability to contribute to this output (unemployed) in the calendar week during which the census took place (the reference week).

Iran´s UN Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo said in a letter that the U.S. government "has stepped up its acts of intervention in a grotesque way in Iran´s internal affairs and accused Washington of violating worldwide law and the principles of the UN charter".

Thousands of protesters took to the streets this weekend in cities throughout Iran to demonstrate against the Islamic Republic's strained economy, corrupt regime and costly military expansion throughout the region, in what has been characterized as the country's largest wave of anti-government protests since the "Green Revolution" erupted in 2009 following a controversial presidential election.

The mercurial president offered no specifics, but a senior administration official said that the White House was "looking across the board" at sanction authorities allowing Trump to target organizations or individuals involved in human rights violations, censorship or preventing free assembly.

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