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Enemies are inflaming the protests, says Iran's leader

Enemies are inflaming the protests, says Iran's leader

Russian Federation has criticized the USA push for Iran to be discussed at the Security Council and it remained unclear if other council members would try to block the meeting via a procedural vote.

Iran is one of the largest members of the OPEC oil cartel and previous political protests in the country have had a major affect on worldwide oil prices. Protests have drawn tens of thousands of people and further calls have raised the possibility of the country going into a fresh bout of instability.

Nauert suggested the United States government could impose sanctions against Iranian officials who repress peaceful protests.

Online messaging and photo sharing platforms Telegram and Instagram remained blocked on mobile phones, having been interrupted soon after protests began.

It's not the first time that Trump has weighed in on the protests that began Thursday. The city is considered holy among world's Shiite Muslims as Reza, the 8th Shiite imam, is buried here.

Massive demonstrations in Tehran and many other cities have been in progress for several days.

Those protests started in the city of Mashhad on December 28 before spreading to other cities.

Calls made across the country for an end to economic hardship and alleged corruption are especially sensitive because Iranian leaders often portray the 1979 Islamic revolution which overthrew the USA -backed Shah as a revolt by the poor against exploitation and oppression.

Some of the issues that have been raised by the protesters are rising prices, unemployment, economic inequality and foreign policy.

Iranians across the country want higher wages and an end to alleged graft.

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Calling the protesters "brave" and "heroic", Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video posted to YouTube on Monday that the protesters sought freedom, justice and "the basic liberties that have been denied to them for decades".

Nine people were killed as fresh unrest hit Iran overnight, state television said on Tuesday, with protesters trying to storm a police station despite attempts to crack down on the biggest demonstrations in years.

The demonstrators waved Iranian flags and pictures of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as placards saying "Death to seditionists". For the next eight years limited anti-government activities continued.

How serious are the protests?

The current Iran protests confirm that the 2015 nuclear deal did not fix Iran's embattled economy as Tehran had hoped and as Israel had feared, ex-senior Mossad official Sima Shine wrote in an analysis on Wednesday. Many of these protesters aren't even letting the Islamist leaders get away with using the age-old Arab-Israeli conflict as an excuse to deflect from their domestic corruption.

The protests are the largest since the 2009 uprising over the disputed presidential election.

Haley rejected as "complete nonsense" Khamenei's charges that the protests were being fomented by Iran's "enemies".

Ali Vaez, Iran project director at International Crisis Group, called the protests "an explosion of the Iranian people's pent-up frustrations over economic and political stagnation", but he said: "This is neither a revolution nor a movement". But as the unrest has spread, protestors have directed their anger at the religious establishment. "Not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran", some protesters; others have torn down posters of the president, supreme leader, and Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the face of Iran's military interventions across the Middle East. There is a time when protests are in the framework of the law... The region was rocked by a powerful quake in November, killing more than 500 and wounding almost 10,000, and protesters blamed corrupt building inspectors.

He praised the families of the martyrs, underlining that "what martyrs' parents did during the war was no less valuable than their children's courage and sacrifice; Iran is greatly indebted to the families of martyrs".

"The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime", Trump tweeted.