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Protests Erupt Overnight in Iran


People take part in a protest in Zahedan, Iran, in these three screen grab taken from a social media video released Feb. 17, 2023 and obtained by Reuters. Other images posted to social media purport to show protests in Tehran, Arak and Isfahan.

Videos posted on social media purport to show protesters marching in several cities in Iran on Friday.

The videos, which could not be independently verified, purport to show protests in Iran's capital, Tehran, and in the cities of Arak, Isfahan, the group Human Rights Activists in Iran said.

The demonstrations would mark 40 days since Iran executed two men on charges related to previous protests in the country.

Protests initially erupted in September after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman, was detained for wearing her head scarf improperly. Days later she died in police custody.

In the videos, protesters were shouting in Farsi: “Death to the Dictator!” targeting Iran's 83-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Although the voices were digitally altered, apparently to protect the protesters, the chant was clear.

There was not any immediate acknowledgement of the demonstrations by the Iranian state media.

Iran’s Islamic Republic has said the protests are due to a foreign plot but has not offered any proof.

The country’s currency, the rial, has collapsed to new lows against the U.S. dollar, following the widespread demonstrations.