Peaceful Protests Constitutional Right of Iranians - President Rouhani

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Government and people solve problems together. Trump said on Twitter that the "world is watching" events in Iran, and that the government "should respect their people's rights, including right to express themselves".

Iran state TV is reporting that authorities have blocked Instagram and the messaging app Telegram.

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".

Rouhani pushed back on Trump's remarks, saying that he had no right to sympathize with protesters because he "called the Iranian nation terrorists a few months ago".

Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said, "The Iranian government is being tested by its own citizens".

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.

He acknowledged grievances over the economic situation, a lack of transparency and corruption but defended his record.

Violence flared in many places on Saturday, and videos posted online suggest demonstrations have continued in a dozen or more cities on Sunday.

Small crowds have gathered in the capital Tehran chanting "death to the dictator" and police have used water cannon to disperse protesters at a major intersection - as captured in a video obtained by BBC Persian.

Why are social networks being restricted?




President Hassan Rouhani, who came to power in 2013 promising to mend the economy and ease social tensions, has so far not made any statement since the unrest started in second city Mashhad on Thursday.

On Saturday, Telegram shut down one channel of the service over Iranian government allegations that it encouraged violence, something its moderator denied.

The Iranian protests began at the end of last week and were a reaction to living standards and rising food prices.

Iranian Communications Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi had earlier accused channels like Amadnews of promoting "armed uprising and social unrest".

Where will the protests lead?

They have spread to small towns throughout the country and have the potential to grow in size.

The local authorities added, however, that the security forces had not opened fire at protesters.

The Foreign Ministry in Tehran dismissed Trump's comments, saying "the Iranian people place no value or credibility in the opportunistic claims of US officials or of Mr. Trump himself". Scores of people are reported to have been arrested in recent days, including 200 in Tehran on Saturday night. "We have found evidence of enemies of the revolution, Takfiri groups and foreign agents in this clash", he added.

Facebook itself has been banned in Iran since the 2009 protests that followed the re-election of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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