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lakeelmoleader.com January 21, 2018


Iran protests: Citizens have right to criticise, not destroy - Rouhani

01 January 2018, 03:09 | Frank Carlson

Iran protests: Citizens have right to criticise, not destroy - Rouhani

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The outpouring of public discontent - the most widespread since protests following Iran's disputed 2009 presidential election -have been fanned by messages sent on the Telegram messaging app, which authorities blocked Sunday along with the photo-sharing app Instagram, which is owned by tech giant Facebook.

An Iranian official said two protesters previously reported killed in Dorud city on Saturday night during anti-government demonstrations were targeted by foreign agents and not the police.

Rouhani's main achievement, a 2015 deal with world powers that curbed Iran's nuclear program in return for a lifting of most worldwide sanctions, is yet to bring the economic benefits the government promised.

Some videos showed protesters chanting "Death to the dictator!" and "Death to [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani".

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

"Counterrevolution groups and foreign media are continuing their organized efforts to misuse the people's economic and livelihood problems and their legitimate demands to provide an opportunity for unlawful gatherings and possibly chaos", state TV said of the protests.

Iranian media also reported the disruption.

"Some meant to enter and damage some government places but the attackers did not manage to achieve their goals. and the town is under control", the unidentified official told the ILNA news agency.

He called for capital punishment for those chanting slogans against the values of the Islamic Republic.

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After four days of rare protests in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani tried to calm the nation Sunday, saying that people had the right to protest and acknowledging public worries over the economy and corruption.

Violence flared in many places on Saturday, and videos posted online suggest demonstrations have continued in a dozen or more cities on Sunday.

But the anti-government protests appear to have been driven in large part by poorer sections of society, angry over high unemployment, soaring prices and financial scandals.

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

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The local authorities added, however, that the security forces had not opened fire at protesters.

Iranians said the app is now inaccessible by mobile phone networks.

President Donald Trump is again cheering on the protesters in Iran, saying: "The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism". "Looks like they will not take it any longer", Trump wrote.

"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.

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



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