Finance

Iran protests: Citizens have right to criticise, not destroy - Rouhani

Iran protests: Citizens have right to criticise, not destroy - Rouhani

Iran warned on Sunday that protesters will "pay the price" after a third night of unrest saw mass demonstrations across the country in which dozens were arrested and official buildings attacked.

The source said: "With a decision by the Supreme National Security Council, activities of Telegram and Instagram are temporarily limited".

They are also hard for the government of President Hassan Rouhani because he was elected on a promise to guarantee rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

Telegram in particular is very popular in Iran, with more than 50% of the country's 80m population said to be active on the app.

Trump responded to the protests with a tweet saying, "Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime's corruption & its squandering of the nation's wealth to fund terrorism overseas".

President Donald Trump is again cheering on the protesters in Iran, saying: "The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism".

Facebook, which owns Instagram, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Canada is encouraged by the Iranian people who are exercising their basic right to protest peacefully", Global Affairs Canada said in a written statement that also called on Iranian authorities to "honor democratic and human rights".

CEO Pavel Durov made the announcement on Twitter Sunday.




Since the 2009 protests against a disputed presidential election that gave hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term were ruthlessly put down, many middle-class Iranians have abandoned hope of securing change from the streets.

Users said Sunday that they could no longer access the app via cellphone networks, though it was still available via Wifi and home internet connections.

Travel restrictions have made it hard to confirm reports about the protests and postings on social media.

Two people were killed overnight, becoming the first deaths attributed to the rallies.

. "We have found evidence of enemies of the revolution, Takfiri groups and foreign agents in this clash", Habibollah Khojastehpour said in an interview on state television on Sunday.

The Foreign Ministry in Tehran dismissed Trump's comments, saying "the Iranian people place no value or credibility in the opportunistic claims of USA officials or of Mr. Trump himself".

People protest in Tehran, Iran December 30, 2017 in this picture obtained from social media.

The protests began in Mashhad against high living costs and the struggling economy before spreading quickly to other areas and turning against the Islamic regime as a whole.

Several hundred protesters have been arrested so far, beginning with over 50 in Mashhad on Thursday.


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