Iran warns against 'illegal gatherings' on third day of protests


Police dispersed anti-government demonstrators in the western city of Kermanshah as protests spread to Tehran and several other cities a day after rallies in the northeast, the semi-official news agency Fars said.

Some social media videos showed demonstrators chanting "Death to Rouhani" and "Death to the dictator".

Slogans have been chanted against not just Mr Rouhani but Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and clerical rule in general.

"Some people had come to express their demands, but suddenly, in a crowd of hundreds, a small group that did not exceed 50 shouted deviant and horrendous slogans such as 'Let go of Palestine, ' 'Not Gaza, not Lebanon, I'd give my life (only) for Iran, '" Alamolhoda said.

His comments came after the United States president urged Iran to respect people's right to hold protest rallies. "Don't be afraid, we are all together".

In step with Mashhad, people protested against high prices and unbearable living conditions in the cities of Neyshabour and Kashmar (also in Razavi Khorassan Province, northeastern Iran), Birjand (in south Khorassan Province, eastern Iran), Shahrud (in the northeastern province of Semnan), Nowshahr (in Mazandaran Province, northern Iran) and Yazd (capital of Yazd Province in central Iran).

Some social media videos showed demonstrators chanting "Death to Rouhani" and "Death to the dictator".

"They think by doing this they harm the government", he said, but "it will be others who ride the wave".

Norouzian said police arrested a number of people who meant to destroy public property, without elaborating.

Meanwhile, coverage of the anti-government protests was very limited on state-run media, which referenced them only in passing.

But he said the administration still faces a major challenge.

The rally in Kermanshah appeared larger - with hundreds shown protesting in videos shared on social media - and was reportedly focused on those who lost money in the collapse of unauthorised lending institutions in recent years.

The security deputy of Tehran's governor, Mohsen Hamedani, said that fewer than 50 people gathered at a public square in Tehran, and that majority left after a police warning but a few chose to stay on.

"The only way out of economic and social problems is the overthrow of the mullahs' regime", she reiterated.

A message calling for "No to high prices" protests was circulated recently on Telegram, he wrote in another tweet.

"The great nation of Iran assuredly has witnessed and remembers how human rights have been violated in Bahrain, Yemen, and Palestine with active contribution of Mr. Trump who has set limitations on Iranians willing to enter USA which has led to prisoning of migrants at U.S. airports for baseless accusations", asserted the spokesman of Iranian foreign ministry.

Tehran backs Syrian President Bashar Assad in his country's civil war, Houthi militias and Lebanon's Hezbollah group.

He added: "One has to keep in mind that the people have been on the streets in large numbers across Iran for two days despite huge risks and the regime's total mobilisation of its oppressive forces". "The world is watching", White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Twitter.

Mashhad was one of the worst-hit areas by the closure of Mizan, which had around one million accounts, leading to several protests in the city since 2015 according to the official IRNA news agency.