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Iran Protests Live Blog: Jan. 2


This frame grab from video provided by Iran Press, a pro-government news agency based in Beirut, shows pro-government demonstrators marching in Qom, Iran, Jan. 3, 2018. Iranian state TV channels aired footage of pro-government demonstrations in cities acr
This frame grab from video provided by Iran Press, a pro-government news agency based in Beirut, shows pro-government demonstrators marching in Qom, Iran, Jan. 3, 2018. Iranian state TV channels aired footage of pro-government demonstrations in cities acr

1/2/18 9:20 p.m. -- U.S. National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster comments on the Iran protests during an interview with VOA Contributor Greta Van Susteren:

General H.R. McMaster, National Security Adviser, Speaks on Iran
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1/2/18 9:15 p.m. -- Footage shows protests, clashes in East Azerbaijan Province, Iran:

Footage Showing Protests, Clashes in East Azerbaijan Province, Iran
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1/2/18 8:15 p.m. -- Tehran Residents Share Economic Grievances Amid Protests

WATCH: Some residents of Tehran described their financial struggles as days of protests took place in dozens of towns and cities across the country:

1/2/18 6:30 p.m. -- Macron asks Rouhani to show restraint, minister's visit postponed

PARIS, Jan 2 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron urged his Iranian counterpart in a phone call on Tuesday to show restraint in dealing with protests, Macron's office said in a statement.

The statement said Macron had expressed his concern to President Hassan Rouhani over the number of casualties in the six-day-old protests, and told him that freedom of speech and protest must be respected.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's planned trip to Tehran later this week was also postponed to a future date, the French presidency said.

Iranian media said Rouhani had asked France to act against Mujahideen exiles working against the Iranian establishment from Paris.

1/2/18 6:15 p.m. -- US: Iran should restore social media sites restricted due to protests

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Tuesday urged Iranian security forces to exercise restraint in dealing with protests that have swept the country and called on Tehran to restore access to any social media sites that have been restricted.

"When a nation clamps down on social media or websites or Google or news sites, we ask the question: What are you afraid of? ... We support the Iranian people and we support their voices being heard," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing.

Restoring social media "would certainly be an important thing for them to do," Nauert said.

1/2/18 5:45 p.m. -- Former CIA director John Brennan tell's VOA that Trump is squandering opportunity in Iran:

1/2/18 4:00 p.m. -- White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks about the widespread protests in several Iranian cities:

"Unfortunately, millions of people around the world are not so fortunate. In recent days, we have watched widespread protest erupt in many Iranian cities. Years of mismanagement, corruption and foreign adventurism has eroded the Iranian's people's trust in their leaders. The Iranian regime spends its people's wealth on militancy and terror abroad rather than ensuring prosperity at home. Prices for everyday staples and fuel are rising, while the Revolutionary Guard spends the nation's wealth on foreign militant groups and enrich themselves in the process. The Iranian people are angry at the rising tide of corruption in their daily lives. The people are tired of paying the price for their violent and corrupt rulers. As a result, we are now seeing an organic popular uprising organized by brave Iranian citizens on a large scale since 2009. But the international community cannot sit silent as it did then. The United States supports the Iranian people and we call on the regime to respect its citizens' basic right to peacefully express their desire for change. America longs for the day when Iranians will take their rightful place alongside the free people of the world. As the president said in October, we stand in total solidarity with the Iranian regime's longest suffering victims, its own people. The citizens of Iran have paid a heavy price for the violence and extremism of their leaders. And the Iranian people long to reclaim their country's proud history, its culture, its civilization and its cooperation with its neighbors."

White House Spokeswoman: Endgame is for Iranians to have 'basic human rights'
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1/2/18 2:00 p.m. -- U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley tells VOA reporter Margaret Besheer that in spite of the protests, there are no unilateral actions being considered by the Trump administration against Iran.​

WATCH: Haley on Iran protests

Haley Refutes Iranian Government Accusation That 'Enemies' Are Stoking Protests
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1/2/18 1:52 p.m. -- U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley says the U.S. wants to help amplify the voices of the Iranian people, who have been protesting around the country for days. "The international community has a role to play about what's happening in Iran," Haley said Tuesday, adding that the U.S. will call for an emergency session at the U.N.

WATCH: Haley push for UN action

Haley Says Will Seek UN Action on Iranian Protests
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1/2/18 12:54 p.m. -- The Trump administration is calling on Iran to stop blocking social media sites, like Instagram and Telegram, calling them "legitimate avenues for communication" as protests continue in the country. Undersecretary of State Goldstein Steve Goldstein says the U.S. is encouraging Iranians to use virtual private networks, known as VPNs, to circumvent any online censorship.

1/2/18 12:26 p.m. -- U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres has issued a statement on the Iran protests. "The Secretary-General is carefully following the reports of protests in a number of cities in Iran. We regret the reported loss of life and hope further violence will be avoided. We expect that the rights to peaceful assembly and expression of the Iranian people will be respected," his spokesman said.

1/2/18 11:59 a.m. -- France has expressed concern over the "number of victims and arrests" in the protests in Iran. The foreign ministry said "the right to protest freely is a fundamental right."

1/2/18 10:30 a.m. -- VOA's Persian service has posted new video of protests that erupted Monday in the city of Shiraz. Footage, verified by VOA Persian, shows protesters and riot police clashing.

1/2/18 9:51 a.m. -- Iran's foreign ministry, responding to a tweet by President Donald Trump, said "Instead of wasting his time sending useless and insulting tweets regarding other countries, he would be better off seeing to the domestic issues of his own country, such as daily killings of dozens of people... and the existence of millions of homeless and hungry people."

1/2/18 7:10 a.m. -- President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that "the people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime," adding that the "US is watching" the developments.

1/2/18 6:02 a.m. -- Iran's Supreme Leader breaks his silence on the days of violent protests racking his country, accusing enemies of the Islamic Republic of using all their means: money, weapons, policies and security services, to stir the unrest that began late last week.​

1/2/18 4:55 a.m. -- Turkey's Foreign Ministry says it is concerned about the reported casualties in Iran and that it hopes foreign interventions will be avoided.

1/2/18 2:26 a.m. -- Nine people were killed overnight, state television reported, raising the overall death toll to more than 20 since the protests began last week.

More live blogs:

VOA Persian Service coverage of Iran Protests in Farsi

Follow @VOAIran breaking news coverage in Farsi on Twitter

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