The ongoing anti-government protest in Iran in defiance of a warning by the authorities of a tough crackdown, extending for a fourth day one of the most audacious challenges to the power of clerics since pro-reform unrest in 2009.
In his first public reaction to the protests, President Hassan Rouhani appealed for calm, however confirming Iranians had the right to protest and criticize the authorities in a peaceful way.
“The government will show no tolerance for those who damage public properties, violate public order and create unrest in the society” – Rouhani also warned, according to official media.
Tens of thousands of people have protested across the country since Thursday against the Islamic Republic’s unelected clerical elite and government.
Police in the center of Tehran fired water cannon to try to disperse demonstrators, according to pictures on social media.
The protests are the biggest since unrest in 2009 that followed the disputed re-election of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.