Iran holds pro-government rallies despite widespread protests

Iranian counter-protesters march around the region on Friday, showing their support for the government . A few thousand people attended a rally in Tehran, the capital of Iran, where they waved Iranian flags .

DUBAI (Danmark) — Iranian counter-protesters marched around the region on Friday, showing their support for the government after a week of anti-government demonstrations and unrest following the death of a young woman who was being held by morality police.A few thousand people attended a rally in Tehran, the capital of Iran, where they waved Iranian flags, and other demonstrations were held in other towns.The government claimed that the demonstrations of support were spontaneous.During periods of widespread demonstrations, similar demonstrations have been held.

According to state television, the death toll from this week's protests could be as high as 26 people.In the most intense civil unrest since 2019, anti-government demonstrators and security forces clashed in several major cities, killing hundreds of people amid protests against a rise in state-controlled gasoline prices, according to human rights organizations.Iran has also curbed internet service and tightened access restrictions on popular platforms used to host rallies such as Instagram and WhatsApp.Although a state television announcer revealed later Thursday that 26 demonstrators and police officers had been killed since the protests began last Saturday after Mahsa Amini's funeral, no details were given as to how authorities came to this figure.

According to a tally obtained by The Associated Press, at least 11 people have been killed, based on statements made by state-run and semiofficial sources.A local and paramilitary officer was killed in unrest in two cities in the northwestern province, according to the deputy governor of Qazvin, Abolhasan Kabiri.The controversy in Iran began with a public outpouring of outrage over the death of Amini, a young woman who was arrested by the morality police in Tehran last week for reportedly wearing her Islamic headscarf too loosely.She died of a heart attack and was not mistreated, according to police, but her family has cast doubt on this explanation.

Hundreds of Iranians poured into the streets, demonstrating pent-up frustration with social and political oppression from Tehran to Aminis northwest Kurdish hometown of Saqez.Authorities have speculated that unidentified foreign countries and opposition organizations are attempting to fuel unrest.According to political risk firm Eurasia Group, the death has tapped into broader anti-government sentiment in the Islamic Republic, particularly among women, noting that Iran's hardliners have intensified their crackdown on women's clothing over the year since former judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi took office.According to the report, the likelihood that the government would make concessions to Iranian women is slim.

Protesters in Tehran are seen torching a police car and confronting policemen at close range in videos.Protesters bolt from riot police to the streets of the capital, shouting: They are shooting at people!And in the capital, videos depict gunfire sounding out.They're killing people, I promise!

Women are seen waving their obligatory headscarves, known as hijab, in the air like flags, while chanting Freedom!in footage from Tehran and Mashhad.The scenes of women cutting their hair and burning their hijabs contribute to a larger national debate on the role of religious strictures in a modern-day republic, topics that have plagued the Islamic Republic since its inception in 1979.The demonstrations have also developed into a public challenge to the government.

and Mullahs must be gone!On Thursday, Iran's intelligence ministry warned citizens against attending the illegitimate street rallies, threatening prosecution.Hundreds of protesters have been arrested in the region, according to local authorities.On Thursday, Hasan Hosseinpour, the deputy police chief in the northern Gilan province, reported that 211 people were arrested there.

In the midst of turmoil, Tehran University declared that classes would be moved online for the next week, according to the semiofficial Fars news agency.Amnesty International, a London-based body, has accused security forces of punching demonstrators with batons and firing metal pellets at near range.The demonstrations are dispersed by videos showing police and paramilitary forces using live fire, tear gas, and water guns.In the recent past, Iran has seen a surge of demonstrations, mainly over a long-running economic crisis that has been exacerbated by US sanctions related to its nuclear program.

As prices of basic necessities rise and the Iranian currency falls in value, economic hardship remains a major source of frustration today.The Biden administration and European allies have been attempting to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, which called for sanctions relief for Iran, but the negotiations have been delayed for months.According to the Eurasia Group, the demonstrations make a return to the deal less likely, because Iran's government will be more reluctant to make concessions at a time of domestic instability and the US would be reluctant to sign a deal as Iran cracks down on opposition.