Trump says world 'has to be watching' the violence in Iran

Remnants of an Iranian gas station after it was attacked last month

Meanwhile, Iran has begun breaking the limits of the nuclear deal in hopes of pressuring Europe into finding a way for Tehran to sell its crude oil overseas despite the American sanctions.

A correspondent said "rioters" had attacked sensitive or military sites with guns or knives, and taken people hostage, leaving security forces with no choice to "resort to authoritative and tough confrontation" to save lives. The latter has a sizable Arab population, and the report claimed security forces clashed with a separatist group there.

Separately, a detainee shot and killed a police officer in the province Tuesday, state TV said, without elaborating.

Dozens of the deaths have been recorded in Shahriar city in Tehran province - one of the cities with the highest death tolls.

The new figure increases the death toll by nearly 50.

The number of deaths is "evidence that Iran's security forces went on a horrific killing spree", said Philip Luther, Amnesty's research and advocacy head for the Middle East, and called on the global community to ensure those responsible are held accountable.

Iran's judiciary spokesman on Tuesday rejected the death toll given by "hostile groups" as "sheer lies", the TV reported.

News could not independently verify the number of dead.

Iranian officials have said about 7,000 people have been arrested since the protests started, though the figure is disputed. Easing up on secondary sanctions against close American allies in Europe and Asia could also create a more supportive global environment for stepping up pressure should Iran further renege on its nuclear commitments, particularly since Iran would have no justification for doing so if it continued to receive the economic benefits promised in the original agreement.

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Iran has not yet released any nationwide figures over the widespread unrest, but confirmed five deaths. The 2009 Green Movement protests that followed a disputed presidential election drew millions to the streets but saw far less killing.

Protests erupted in Iran on November 15 after an announcement that petrol prices were going up by as much as 200 percent with immediate effect. That's 12 cents a litre, or about 50 cents a gallon. After a monthly 60-liter quota, it costs 30,000 rials a liter. That's almost 90 cents a gallon. An average gallon of regular gas in the United States costs $2.58 by comparison, according to AAA.

Cheap gasoline is widely expected by consumers in Iran, home to the world's fourth-largest crude oil reserves.

Iran's United Nations mission in NY called Amnesty's findings "unsubstantiated", without elaborating. Daily staples also have risen in price. "Since the Iranian authorities have previously shown they are unwilling to carry out independent, impartial and effective investigations into unlawful killings and other arbitrary use of force against protesters, we are calling on the global community to help ensure accountability". The protests largely have subsided, and no group has offered estimates that high.

"It's important to note, the world should know that humanitarian assistance, medical supplies, and those kinds of things are expressly permitted to go into Iran", Pompeo continued.

Iran has faced growing global criticism and pressure over the security force crackdown on demonstrations that spread across at least 100 cities and towns throughout the Islamic Republic in mid-November.

The clarification came shortly after Trump - while at an appearance with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, was asked whether or not he supported the protestors in Iran.

He said, "We believe that we should work together to solve the region's problems", adding, "The policies of the Saudi government in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon have made no progress to them, and we hope that the Saudi authorities will change their policy".

But the protests quickly expanded in scope amid anger over government corruption, failing institutions, lack of freedoms and the repressive rule of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. During that meeting, a suspected Iranian limpet mine attack damaged a Japanese oil tanker.

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