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Six days of Iran protests: 20 dead, 450 arrested

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Six days of Iran protests: 20 dead, 450 arrested

The latest demonstrations came despite President Hassan Rouhani's vow that the nation would deal with "rioters and lawbreakers".

He criticized the Iranian regime's response to the protests and also blamed European governments for watching "in silence" as the protests turn violent.

Reports later said that one police officer was killed and three others were injured in the Najaf Abad city in the province of Isfahan, while conflicting information emerged concerning the number of victims that fell among the ranks of protestors.

"Iran is failing at every level despite the awful deal made with them by the Obama administration", Mr Trump said, referring to the nuclear pact agreed under his predecessor Barack Obama.

According to the broadcaster, all three of the deceased were shot with hunting rifles.

Iran's state media reported the 9 deaths overnight Monday, 10 on Sunday, and two on Saturday. Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested.

Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a small protest in Tehran's Enghelab Square on Sunday evening, according to unverified social media videos.

On Monday, he tried to play down the unrest in a statement on the presidency website.

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Rouhani was elected to a second four-year term last year with a pledge to strengthen the economy, while the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has presided over Iran since 1989.

"It should be clear to everyone that we are a free nation and, based on the constitution and citizenship rights, people are completely free in expressing criticisms and even their protests, but at the same time, we must pay attention to the way in which criticism and protest should be made to lead to better conditions for the country and people's live", the President said follwoing a weekly Cabinet meeting.

Israel's assessment reportedly said that while the unrest had damaged Rouhani's image, "parts of the public still believe in him or at the very least see him as a lesser of all evils".

The demonstrations, the largest to strike Iran since its disputed 2009 presidential election, have been sparked by anger over the country's flagging economy and a jump in food prices.

Meanwhile, Bahrain became the first Arab Gulf state to issue a travel warning for Iran. "But it doesn't look like it has the kind of leadership it did in 2009", Wright said.

Verifying reports remained challenging due to travel restrictions and sporadic blocks on mobile internet and social media sites, including Telegram and Instagram.

Mr Rouhani had dismissed Mr Trump's earlier comments on Sunday.

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