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Peaceful Protests Constitutional Right of Iranians - President Rouhani

© Sputnik / Aleksey Nikolskyi / Go to the mediabankPresident of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Protests and criticism, not involving violence, are the constitutional rights of the Iranians, the country's President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday.

Since Thursday, Iran has been rocked by the largest protests over the past years. Thousands have been protesting across Iran against poverty and unemployment. The protesters have been chanting slogans, criticizing Rouhani and Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Earlier in the day, Tehran's mayor Mohammad Ali Najafi said that traffic in some part of the city had been disrupted due to the rallies, adding that some municipal properties, including a number of bus stations, suffered damages during the protests.

"Protest, criticism constitutional rights of people… Criticism different from violence, inflicting damage on public properties," Rouhani said as quoted by Iranian Press TV broadcaster in the outlet's Twitter post.

The protests have been suppressed in Iran's second most populous city of Mashhad by the authorities who used tear gas against the demonstrators.

Iranian protesters chant slogans at a rally in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017 - Sputnik International
Iran Offers US 'No Credit for Deceitful Remarks' After its Support of Protests
Earlier on Sunday, authorities of the country's western Lorestan province confirmed that two people had died during the protests in the province. The local authorities added, however, that the security forces had not opened fire at protesters.

READ MORE: Iranian Protests: The Story So Far

Officials from several countries, including UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, have expressed concerns over the rallies in Iran, calling on the country's authorities to ensure the citizens' right to peaceful demonstration.

Meantime, US President Donald Trump on Monday condemned restrictions on social media, introduced by Iranian authorities amid anti-government protests in the Middle Eastern country.

"Iran, the Number One State of Sponsored Terror with numerous violations of Human Rights occurring on an hourly basis, has now closed down the Internet so that peaceful demonstrators cannot communicate. Not good!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

At the same time, Washington has supported the right of the Iranian nation to express protest peacefully and urged Tehran to avoid censorship, according to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

On Sunday, media reported, that Tehran had temporarily restricted access to social media apps Instagram and Telegram, used by protesters to exchange messages about the rallies.

Earlier, Telegram founder Pavel Durov said the platform had suspended one of the Iranian channels over calls to use Molotov cocktails, published on it. Such messages violated Telegram's "no calls for violence" rule, Durov explained.

The rallies had reportedly started amid a surge in fuel and food prices in the country. Demonstrators are currently protesting against the poor economic situation in the country, and policies of President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.


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