Iranian General Raps Trump's Support for Rioters

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Footage shows improvised roadblocks and street fires

The level of protests in Iran escalated on Monday after demonstrators ignored President Hassan Rouhani's calls for calm and instead attacked a religious school and offices for the Basij, in the absence of any accurate information about the number of victims in their ranks.

Despite the widening of the demonstrations on Monday, Ramadan Sharif, a spokesman for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), said that the police and internal security forces "fully control the situation in Tehran and other cities where street protests took place".

It says all were shot by hunting rifles.

He criticized the Iranian regime's response to the protests and also blamed European governments for watching "in silence" as the protests turn violent.

The towns are all in Iran's central Isfahan province, about 215 miles south of Tehran.

The unrest is billed as the biggest test for the Iranian regime since 2009, when authorities ruthlessly put down protests which followed a disputed presidential election that gave hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term.

Iranian state TV reported nine additional deaths on Tuesday morning.

Police arrested a number of demonstrators who were trying to damage public property in the gatherings.

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Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump came in support of the protesters.

Another two people were killed in the town of Khomeinishahr, and the ninth fatality was a member of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in the town of Najafabad.

The protests were fanned in part by messages sent on the Telegram messaging app, which authorities blocked on Sunday along with Instagram.

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

"Certainly, the great Iranian nation has closely pursued Mr. Trump's active partnership in violating the Palestinian, Yemeni and Bahraini people's human rights" and remember his hostile approach towards Iranians' visit to the U.S., he added.

'We regret the loss of life that has occurred in the protests in Iran, and call on all concerned to refrain from violence and for worldwide obligations on human rights to be observed, ' he said.

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

"Oppressive regimes can not endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice".


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