Iran's Guards Vow to Crush Dissent as Protests Turn Deadly

Foreign support can often be detrimental for protesters within Iran, as it routinely is used by the regime to undermine homegrown opposition demands.

A semi-official news agency in Iran is reporting that police arrested around 200 people during protests in Tehran on Saturday.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have warned anti-government protesters they will face the nation's "iron fist" if political unrest continues.

On Saturday, Telegram shut down one channel of the service over Iranian government allegations that it encouraged violence, something its moderator denied.

Iranian hard-liners who support President Rouhani, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the clerical establishment of the Islamic Republic came out in droves this weekend to retaliate against the demonstrators.

"This is not like anything I have seen before, there are people from everywhere, protesting against everything" said Layla, a young media professional.

It also apparently forced state television to break its silence about the unrest, acknowledging Saturday that it hadn't reported on the protests on orders from security officials.

"Some meant to enter and damage some government places but the attackers did not manage to achieve their goals. and the town is under control", the unidentified official told the ILNA news agency.

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Earlier on Sunday, authorities of the country's western Lorestan province confirmed that two people had died during the protests in the province.

"Big protests in Iran", he later added.

Iranians said the app is now inaccessible by mobile phone networks.

The Iranian president said that Iranian citizens were "completely free to express their criticism of the government or stage protests.in a way that would lead to the improvement of the country's conditions".

He did not offer a cause of death for the two protesters, but said "no bullets were shot from police and security forces at the people". He added, however, that the demonstrations should not devolve into violence or anti-government chants.

Since the 2009 protests against a disputed presidential election that gave hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term were ruthlessly put down, many middle-class Iranians have abandoned hope of securing change from the streets.

President Donald Trump is again cheering on the protesters in Iran, saying: "The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism". Looks like they will not take it any longer. "The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!"

Rouhani pushed back on Trump's remarks, saying that he had no right to sympathize with protesters because he "called the Iranian nation terrorists a few months ago".

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