Defying Police, Iranians Protest Over Plane Shootdown

A woman attending a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the Ukraine plane crash talks to a policeman on Saturday night

"Death to the dictator", some chanted in the capital, Tehran, in footage posted on social media.

Another video shows a woman being carried away from the protests, while people around her call out that she has been shot in the leg by live ammunition.

Choking protesters try to escape the fumes while calling for help, with one woman crying in Farsi: "They fired tear gas at people!" The Iranian people must be allowed to "protest peacefully and freely" following the Ukrainian airliner disaster, said German foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr. But it's even more foolish to act as if that anger doesn't exist, because it greatly limits the options of Iran's leaders - and means that, for just one example, killing Soleimani was far less risky that Trump's critics pretend. They're denouncing the whole regime - President Rouhani, Ayatollah Khamanei and the whole rotten system of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 bound for Kiev, Ukraine, crashed minutes after take-off from the Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board.

The prolonged tensions between the USA and Iran have increased enormously since January 3, when rockets fired from an American drone killed a prominent Iranian commander, Qasem Soleimani, near Baghdad airport.

"Apologise and resign,"Iran's moderate Etemad daily wrote in a banner headline on Sunday, saying the "people's demand" was for those responsible for mishandling the plane crisis to quit".

After days of denying responsibility for shooting down the plane, Iran's senior leaders apologized on Saturday.

The economic instability, allegations of dictatorship and now a fatal mistake - leading to deaths of Iranian, Canadian and Ukrainian civilians alike - has understandably led to greater antagonism against the current government.

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The incident occurred after Iran deployed multiple missiles to bomb two facilities in Iraq, which were believed to have been housing US troops.

Last week, Trump revealed in an interview on Fox News that the United States launched the airstrikes because it believed Soleimani was targeting four embassies, with Baghdad being the primary target. "I'm happy that the Canadian government promised to follow through and find justice for these people, for the families and loved ones", she said.

In a rare apology, Gen. Hossein Salami, commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guards, said he wished he was among the doomed passengers of Flight 752 and that the military is sadder than anyone else over the tragedy, Iran's Fars News Agency reporter.

"To the leaders of Iran - DON'T KILL YOUR PROTESTERS", tweets Trump, warning that the world and "more importantly, the United States is watching". "The world is watching", Trump wrote. Numerous protesters chanted anti-government slogans against both the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, chants that had been heard during the November protests that were sparked by cuts in fuel subsidies. The government blocked Internet access for days, making it hard to gauge the scale of the protests and subsequent crackdown. But a top Revolutionary Guards commander added to public anger when he said he had told the authorities on the same day as the crash that an Iranian missile had brought down the plane.

Trudeau called it a Canadian tragedy.

Hubris is also what encapsulates the latest episode in what is shaping up to be a presidential-term long standoff between Donald Trump and Iran.

The Iranian State Department later invited the British ambassador to protest because of its "illegal and inappropriate presence", it said on its telegram channel.

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