Pro-regime rallies in Tehran as US imposes sanctions

Pro-regime rallies were held in Tehran on Friday with authorities seeking to quell recent violent unrest, while Washington imposed new sanctions on Iran and called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. UN.Iranian officials have blamed the CIA, Israel and Saudi Arabia for a plot that has convulsed much of the country for five days - part of the growing tension between Iran and its neighbors since the country took power. President Donald Trump.For the third consecutive day, large pro-government rallies were held, this time in 40 localities in Tehran province and in several cities including Tabriz and Kerman after Friday prayers, while the authorities declared the unrest.The sanctions imposed by the United States against five Iranian companies worked on an illegal ballistic missile program, linking the movement to demonstrations.In the streets of Tehran, the police presence persisted, although there were no reports of new protests overnight.There have been reports of small anti-government protests in provincial towns, but these could not be verified.Police have asked people to send pictures of "troublemakers," local media reports said, and to identify a number of previously photographed suspects.It remains unclear who was involved in the unrest that began on December 28, declaring 21 lives - mostly protesters - and leading to hundreds of arrests.Supporters of President Hassan Rouhani blamed conservative rivals for stirring up anger over economic issues, which quickly escaped control and provoked attacks on security forces, government buildings and regime symbols.The Conservatives deny the accusations and say that Rouhani must do more to help the poor, with the parliament that is already repealing an unpopular fuel tax hike in its recent budget.The UN Security Council was created to hold an emergency meeting on the issue Friday at the request of the United States.Russia has criticized the United States for convening the meeting and it is not certain that the members of the Council would try to block it by a procedural vote.Chief Prosecutor Mohammed Jafar Montazeri blamed the unrest on a four-year-old situation in the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia."The chief architect of this plan is Michael D'Andrea," said Montazeri, referring to the head of the CIA's Iranian office."They launched (social media) campaigns on the theme" no to high prices, "he said, adding that the plan was to trigger unrest in the provinces before moving to Tehran.Montenegeri also said there were efforts to infiltrate the Islamic State group in the country.Nevertheless, many officials have recognized the real economic grievances of many Iranians, especially the unemployment rate of nearly 30% for young people.Ali Akbar Velayati, an advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told the semi-official ISNA news agency on Thursday.

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