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Iranian authorities appeared to have dispersed groups of anti-regime protesters in Tehran Sunday evening with live ammunition

According to witness counts and footage circulating on social media, Iranian authorities appeared to have dispersed groups of anti-regime protesters in Tehran Sunday evening with live ammunition. Witnesses say security forces initially used teargas to disperse these large groups of protesters, but later open fired as “protesters wearing cloths across their mouths continued to chant anti-regime slogans”, (The Guardian, 2020). The executive director of the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran, Hadi Ghaemi, responded on Twitter to these accounts, stating that “The brave people of Iran have a right to peacefully mourn and demand accountability from their government without state violence, and that government has a duty to listen.” ~

According to USA Today, thousands of Iranian protesters took to the streets Saturday in response to Tehran’s admittance that it accidentally shot down a Ukranian passenger plane last week, killing all 176 passengers and crew members on board. Among those killed on the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737, 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, 4 Afghans, 3 Germans, and 3 British nationals lost their lives. Demonstrators Saturday gathered outside Amir Kabir University near the former American embassy in Iran, denouncing the crash and demanding that Iranian leaders be held accountable. In videos posted on social media, protesters called for the resignation of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and called for those responsible for the crash to be prosecuted. Furthermore, according to Fox News, crowds of student demonstrators condemned the late Iranian General Solemani – who was killed earlier this month in American retaliation to an attack on the American embassy in Baghdad – calling him “a murderer” and stating that “his leader is too!” ~

Responding to these anti-regime protests, President Trump stated on Twitter Saturday that “To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I’ve stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage.” ~

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