What's behind the biggest protests in Iran in nearly a decade?

Tear gas appeared to have been fired at protesters at the University of Tehran

The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting reported several people have been injured since the protests began Thursday in Iran's second-largest city, Mashhad, on rising prices and financial corruption.

"He will be a lame-duck president and Khamenei will have more power".

Regardless of the immediate outcome, the United States is now on the side of the Iranian people.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke with French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday. While leaderless, these new protests have been fanned in part by an exiled journalist named Roohallah Zam using a mobile phone messaging app called Telegram.

All Iranian officials with whatever political persuasions have insisted the people's right to protest should be recognized.

Iranian authorities are concerned that nationwide unrest will undermine the clerical establishment and want to stamp out the protests quickly, senior government officials say. Some videos circulated online show protesters welcoming police officers and demonstrating peacefully.

She said the U.S. would call for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the anti-government protests.

President Trump's tweets on the ongoing Iran protests were immediate, have been daily and are likely to grow and transform into real change for Iranians.

The US stance to the unrest, which has included a string of tweets from President Donald Trump, has drawn an angry response from the Iranian leadership.

The protests highlight discontent with the lack of economic progress under President Rouhani, who was first elected on a reformist platform in 2013, promising to lead Iran out of its global isolation, guarantee greater freedoms and improve the economy.After Tehran and six major powers agreed on a deal to limit Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief, hopes were high that an end to the sanctions would end inequality.

United States secondary sanctions and threats to pull out of the nuclear deal despite Tehran's compliance have contributed to Iran not fully benefiting from the nuclear deal.

To the editor: Trump tweeted that Iranians "are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered".

By his actions on Iran, President Trump is advancing the foreign policy interests of the United States and also the human rights of the Iranian people.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi slammed on Tuesday the US president for his rude comments, saying he should address his own country's problems instead of interfering in other countries.

"Counter-revolution groups and foreign media are continuing their organised efforts to misuse the people's economic and livelihood problems and their legitimate demands to provide an opportunity for unlawful gatherings and possibly chaos", state TV said.

What are the protests about? .

The protests began December 28 in Mashhad, Iran's second-largest city and a bastion for hard-liners, initially focusing on Iran's flagging economy and rising food prices.

At least 20 individuals have died since the protests began last week, according to The Washington Post.

Some of the early protests in Mashhad reportedly were organized by ultra-hard-line regime supporters opposed to Rouhani, and may have been created to undermine his authority. Those protests, Iran's biggest since 1979, prompted a crackdown by Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard and its affiliates that saw thousands detained, dozens killed and others tortured.

Fars also said protests on Friday struck Qom, a city that is the world's foremost centre for Shiite Islamic scholarship and home to a major Shiite shrine.

Numerous protest chants are calling for the downfall of the entire Islamic regime, unlike the 2009 protesters who sought to strengthen reformists and work within the system.

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