Death toll in Iran protests rises to 20

Death toll in Iran protests rises to 20

An Iranian lawmaker says two more protesters have been killed and others wounded during a demonstration in the southwest amid nationwide protests over the government's handling of the economy.

Rouhani finally broke his silence on the protests that mark the biggest test for the regime since mass protests in 2009.

The protests began last Thursday in Mashhad over Iran's weak economy and an increase in food prices, and have expanded to several cities, with some protesters chanting against the government and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In remarks broadcast on state television Sunday, Rouhani said, "According to the constitution and citizens' rights, people are free to express their criticism and to protest".

Earlier on Monday, it was reported that the number of civilians killed amid the pro-and anti-government demonstrations has grown to 10.

U.S. President Donald Trump used one of his first tweets of 2018 to voice his support for the protesters.

According to Article 27 of the Iranian Constitution, "public gatherings and marches are allowed so long as the participants do not carry arms and are not in violation of the fundamental principles of Islam". Another tweet by Trump said "the entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change". "This person whose whole being is against the nation of Iran has no right to feel pity for the people of Iran".

Hundreds of people have been arrested and a prominent judge warned on Tuesday that some could face death penalty trials.

"Based on our analyses, around 27 percent of the new hashtags against Iran are generated by the Saudi government", he said in the interview.

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Conservative news agency Fars said Tehran shops had closed on Sunday "for fear of damage to their shops by rioters".

"I heard today Iran's President Rohani's claim that Israel is behind the protests in Iran", Netanyahu said in the 90 second video.

"The spreading of violence, fear and terror will definitely be confronted", he added.

He said the protests, initially over economic hardship and banking corruption, had grown to a general protest against the regime.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson issued a statement late Monday saying "there should be meaningful debate about the legitimate and important issues the protesters are raising and we look to the Iranian authorities to permit this".

Since then, people have repeatedly taken to the streets to protest against unemployment, poverty, and the rising cost of living.

"I think president Obama made it clear that he was going to stand behind the Iranian regime", Dershowitz said.

Rouhani also stressed Monday that Iran "has seen many similar events and passed them easily".

The towns are all in Iran's central Isfahan province, some 215 miles (350km) south of Tehran. They deny shooting the two men killed in Dorud, and information has been hard to obtain amid a near-total media blackout. Protesters have complained mostly about economic problems and have also denounced Iran's clerical leadership.

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