Thousands protest in Iran in anti-government demonstrations

Nazar also reported smaller protests in Yazd in southern Iran, Shahroud in the north and Kashmar in the northeast.

"The United States strongly condemns the arrest of peaceful protesters", said a statement released Friday. "As President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for "serious case of amnesia" after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don't want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE has said, the longest-suffering victims of Iran's leaders are Iran's own people". Farmers have blamed the hikes on higher prices for imported feed.

The editor-in-chief of the reformist news network Nazar, Payam Parhiz, wrote on Twitter that it was not clear what person or group organised the protest in Mashhad.

It's the first wave of mass protests in Iran in nearly a decade.

In social media footage, riot police were seen using water cannon and tear gas to disperse crowds.

The head of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad, Hasan Heidari, told Fars that 52 protesters were arrested in Mashhad over their "illegal" gathering on Thursday.

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This latest wave of protests is placing new pressure on Rouhani as his signature nuclear deal with world powers remains in peril.

Several provinces this week reported the price of eggs had risen by up to 50 percent, according to the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency.

Some protesters have also criticized Iran's support of Syrian President Bashar Assad in his country's civil war, in which the Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard has played a major role.

Openly political protests are rare in Iran, where security services are omnipresent.

"When a social and political movement is launched on the streets, those who started it will not necessarily be able to control it in the end", IRNA quoted Jahangiri as saying.

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