1/3/18 9:24 p.m. — To sanction or not? Western intelligence officials are split on whether a new round of U.S. economic sanctions will help anti-government protesters in Iran or work to the benefit of the Iranian authorities by feeding into their claims that the unrest has been fomented by foreign enemies.
1/3/18 9:08 p.m. — Iranians have reacted dismissively to a series of pro-government rallies held in Iran on Wednesday, saying they appeared to be coerced in contrast to the spontaneity of a week-long anti-government protest movement that has posed the biggest domestic challenge to Iran’s ruling clerics in eight years.
In the Wednesday edition of VOA Persian’s Straight Talk program, callers in Iran who said they witnessed the pro-government rallies told the hosts they believed the participants had joined largely under pressure from powerful institutions.
1/3/18 2:34 p.m. -- Watch the full interview between Vice President Mike Pence and VOA contributor Greta Van Susteren.
1/3/18 12:18 p.m. -- In an interview with VOA contributor Greta Van Susteren, Vice President Mike Pence said he hopes that the people of Iran understand that the U.S. wants to see them "achieve a free and democratic future."
Talking directly to the Iranian people today. My interview with @Greta for @VOANews will air in Iran. The message from @POTUS and me is clear: Unlike the past, this time America stands with the brave Iranian protesters who are risking their lives for freedom! #IranProtests pic.twitter.com/DIXFC3Nyvw— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) January 3, 2018
* Read our complete Iran Protest story here
1/3/18 12:11 p.m. -- U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres issued a statement Wednesday deploring the loss of life during the recent Iranian protests. He urged respect for the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, and that any demonstrations take place in a peaceful manner, according to his deputy spokesman. Earlier, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein called on Iran "to handle the wave of protests that have taken place around the country with great care so as not to further inflame violence and unrest.”
1/3/18 11:23 a.m. -- Vice President Mike Pence has tweeted that the anti-regime protesters in Iran should know "there's bipartisan support in America for the freedom-loving people of Iran who continue to fight against their government’s corruption and tyranny."
Protesters in Iran should know there%27s bipartisan support in America for the freedom-loving people of Iran who continue to fight against their government’s corruption and tyranny. #IranProtests pic.twitter.com/PvOZoacOwD— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) January 3, 2018
1/3/18 9:48 a.m. -- Iran's Revolutionary Guards said the anti-government protests that broke out in the country over the past few days were at an end. "Today we can announce the end of the sedition," Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Revolutionary Guards, said on its website.
1/3/18 8:41 a.m. -- President Donald Trump has issued another tweet about anti-government protests in Iran, saying he has "such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government."
Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
1/3/18 7:42 a.m. -- VOA's Persian service tweeted a photo of protesters gathered in front of the Iranian consulate in Hamburg, Germany in a show of support for anti-government protests taking place across Iran.
گروهی از ایرانیان، در مقابل کنسولگری جمهوری اسلامی ایران در هامبورگ آلمان برای همراهی با اعتراضات گسترده در ایران، تجمع کردند pic.twitter.com/OsvEr22SKS— VOA Farsi (@VOAIran) January 3, 2018
1/3/18 6:31 a.m. -- Pro-government demonstrators staged rallies across the country Wednesday, after days of protests against the government and economic problems. Iranian state television showed video of crowds waving Iranian flags and chanting in support of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
1/3/18 6:00 a.m. -- Turkish officials say Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyp Erdogan that he hopes protests in Iran will end in a few days. The two leaders spoke on the phone Wednesday, according to Turkey.
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