Trump ready to punish Iran's elite guard unit

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Police officers used tear gas and water cannons to disperse crowds as the demonstrations grew rowdier.

Protests over high living costs and other economic problems started on December 28 before turning against the regime as a whole. Unemployment among the youth has reached a record-high of roughly 31%, while approximately 60% of the Iranian population is under 30 years of age.

Paris: If US President Donald Trump has wasted no time in offering vocal support to Iran's anti-government protesters, Europe's governments are treading a much more delicate diplomatic line. "Iranian govt should respect their people's rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching!"

Following six days of demonstrations, the elite Revolutionary Guards Corps said on Wednesday that it had deployed forces to quell unrest in three provinces where most of the trouble had occurred.

Reports emerge that authorities in Iran have shut off the internet in some parts of the country.

As the protests were beginning on Saturday, and Trump issued his first strong statement of support, Ali Safavi, an official of the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), contrasted the president's words with Obama's during the last major protests in 2009.

Bloc says it expects 'right of expression to be guaranteed'.

Moderates and reformers led by Rouhani have said people have the right to peacefully protest against economic woes and the government should be open to criticism. Iran's unemployment rate is 12.5 percent, according to the CIA World Factbook, putting it 136th out of 217 countries. "People's expectations were raised by the nuclear deal, but the quality of life hasn't materially improved", Karim Sadjadpour, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said in an interview with Isaac Chotiner of Slate. "In a place like Iran, which is not only politically authoritarian, but also economically and socially authoritarian, all of that has really come out". "The rich now heedlessly flaunt their wealth", emphasizing the economic divide.

The statement, issued late Tuesday by the high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, offered the EU's first formal remarks on the unrest in Iran and came as the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blamed enemies, including the US and Saudi Arabia, for instigating deadly protests.

Trump's ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the United States would seek emergency UN talks on the situation.

Tehran on Tuesday ratcheted up its accusations against Saudi Arabia for allegedly stoking the unrest in Iran and vowed there would be strong punishment against Riyadh. On Wednesday, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations said "numerous, absurd tweets" from Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were responsible for inciting violence.

Regardless of the immediate outcome, the United States is now on the side of the Iranian people. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their 'pockets.' The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights.

THE FACTS: While the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover and hostage crisis colors Americans' thoughts on Iran, perhaps no event more affects Iranian beliefs about the U.S. than the 1953 coup.

Turkey's ties with Iran expanded past year as Ankara's relations with the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia - Tehran's main global opponents - all frayed.

People take part in pro-government rallies in Iran on January 3. Now, they've morphed into demands for wholesale change in Iran's theocratic government. At least 21 people have been killed and 450 people arrested. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari.

He added: "You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!" "That's one thing. The second thing it does, it legitimizes the use of violence against protesters because if the regime is dealing with external saboteurs and not internal dissenters then it's perfectly legitimate for Iran to use its security forces and clamp down on opposition", Akbarzedeh said.

Thousands rallied on Thursday in support of the government in various towns and cities, including in the northeastern city of Mashhad, where the anti-government protests began last week and extended to other cities.

On Tuesday, Khamenei blamed Iran's "enemies" for the chants of "death to the dictator" ringing through his country.

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