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On Wednesday, tens of thousands of people marched in pro-government rallies called to counter the earlier demonstrations, which have left at least 20 people dead and hundreds under arrest.

"Today we can announce the end of the sedition", said Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Revolutionary Guards.

But online videos that emerged Wednesday appeared to show continued protests in the provinces.

Iran has a powerful security force, but leaders have not yet called on the Revolutionary Guard and the Basij militia, who flattened the 2009 demonstrations by killing dozens of protesters. While these elites benefit, the youth unemployment rate is 24 percent.

"The Iranian authorities must respect the rights of all demonstrators and detainees, including their right to life, and guarantee their safety and security", Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in a statement.

State TV said six rioters were killed during an attack on a police station in the town of Qahdarijan.

Their movement has so far lacked any apparent leadership and clear demands.

Netanyahu has praised Iranian anti-government protesters, while denying as "laughable" accusations that Israel was behind the demonstrations. They are virtually in every city in Iran.

Nader Hashemi, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at Denver University, said the tumultuous week may embolden reformers, even if President Hassan Rouhani is "in a very hard position".

In 2009, authorities ruthlessly put down protests against the re-election of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But they threw their weight behind Rouhani in 2013 and 2017, and now enjoy government and even cabinet positions.

In Iran, where ruling clerics hold much of the power, some protesters are frustrated that social freedoms and political openness are being suppressed by the establishment.

"Why should they arrest someone like me when I protest the rise of the price of eggs?" he said.

Iran's conservatives have long counted on rural constituencies as a bulwark against the middle-class city-dwellers, who represent the base of support for reformists.

The Turkish president, for his part, said that Ankara is determined to expand its relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in all areas. "And now they're deeply angry and they've given up on everyone". Judicial officials said they would be severely punished, with the organisers possibly facing a death penalty.

But he also understood the economic grievances driving the unrest.

Since the protests in Iran began six days ago - and President Trump has repeatedly tweeted his support for the dissidents - prominent Iranian exile groups and opponents of the Tehran regime have voiced praise for the US president.

"President Trump's expression of support for the Iranian people and his condemnation of the arrests of the protests send an encouraging signal to all those who want to see Iran liberated from the yoke of the medievalist mullahs", Safavi told Newsmax.

In a letter to the U.N. Security Council and Secretary General António Guterres, Gholamali Khoshroo said the Trump administration had "crossed every limit in flouting rules and principles of worldwide law governing the civilized conduct in the global relations".

The U.S. State Department urged Tehran to restore access to any social media sites that had been restricted and urged Iranian security forces to exercise restraint.

Other officials, like U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, urged the worldwide community to join in on the administration's efforts.


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