Tens of thousands of Iranians are mobilizing across the country to denounce the United States and Israel and to demand an end to opposition protests that have caused at least 22 deaths.
Rallies were held in the cities of Ahvaz, Kermanshah, Bushehr, Abadan, Gorgan and Qom. State media reported new rallies will be held on Thursday in other towns and cities. A massive rally is expected on Friday, after prayers, in Tehran.
Participants are holding national flags and are chanting pro-government slogans as they condemn the violence ensued in the last two days after peaceful protests over economic concerns turned deadly. Protesters were shown attacking state buildings and trying to seize police stations. These actions garnered condemnation by both reformist and conservative sectors of Iran’s political establishment, with both sides denouncing U.S. opportunism.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu joined in support of Iran's stability.
"Iran’s stability is important for us. We are against foreign interventions in Iran," Cavusoglu said in an interview.
"There are two people supporting the demonstrations in Iran: Netanyahu and Trump.”
The remarks come after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani linked the recent protests to the U.S. and Israel, claiming they “could not tolerate the country’s achievements in the diplomatic arena,” and after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the nation’s enemies were attempting to “infiltrate and strike the Iranian nation.”
U.S. President Donald Trump has cheered on protesters, openly calling Iran a "brutal and corrupt regime." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used his Twitter account to "wish the Iranian people success in their noble quest for freedom."
Yesterday, during a telephone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, Rouhani asked Macron to take action against a Paris-based Iranian opposition group called Mujahedin-e Khalq, which Rouhani accused of fomenting the protests.
According to a New York Times report, anti-government demonstrations were reported through social media in Shiraz, Kazerun, Lenjan and Rasht. The reports cast doubts over claims that the Iranian government had restricted social media access to curb protests.