Nine killed in latest crackdown on Iran protests

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Pointing to a humiliating defeat that enemies suffered in their recent attempts to hijack the peaceful rallies in Iran, the general said the evil American and Zionist plots against the Islamic Republic have been hatched while the USA itself saw various public protests against Washington's policies and measures in 2017. The clashes were sparked off as protesters tried to steal guns, according to reports.

The state TV report said an 11-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man were killed in the town of Khomeinishahr, while a member of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard was killed in the town of Najafabad. All were reportedly shot by hunting rifles. Actions in support of Iranian leaders were held in some 1,200 cities and towns across Iran, including the capital, Tehran, and the second-most populous city, Mashhad. Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested.

Footage showed a ransacked private bank, broken windows, overturned cars and a firetruck that appeared to have been set ablaze.

The Iranian state television claimed that security forces repulsed armed protesters who tried to break into police and army headquarters.

Six people were killed by gunfire in the western town of Tuyserkan on Sunday and two others shot dead in the southwestern town of Izeh.

In a separate report, Iranian lawmaker Hojatollah Khademi told the Ilna news agency that there had been two deaths in Iseh overnight.

He said the cause of death wasn't immediately known, though authorities later described one of the deaths as the result of a personal dispute.

Iranians took to the streets for a fifth night of demonstrations on Monday in a snub to the country's clerical leadership as tensions rose further with the first killing of a police officer.

The Iranian government shut down access to social media platform Instagram on Sunday, as well as a popular messaging app, which protesters used to organize.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has addressed the nation for the first time since protests started across the country four days ago.

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That was echoed Monday by judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, who urged authorities to confront rioters, state TV reported.

"I demand all prosecutors across the country to get involved and the approach should be strong", he said.

Rouhani also stressed Monday that Iran 'has seen many similar events and passed them easily'.

"Iran is failing at every level despite the awful deal made with them by the Obama Administration", he wrote, adding that the Iranian people were "hungry for food & for freedom". "They're also demanding more freedoms", said Rowhani, in an indirect slam on regime hardliners who oppose his attempts to push through political and cultural reforms, during an emergency security summit.

The European Union on Monday pushed Iran to guarantee the right to protest and separately British foreign minister Boris Johnson said "the United Kingdom is watching events in Iran closely".

Trump has refused to re-certify a 2015 deal between Tehran and world powers that curbed Iran's disputed nuclear program in return for a lifting of most worldwide sanctions.

"We call on the government to respect demonstrators' freedom of assembly and their right to give voice their opinion freely and peacefully", Gabriel said.

"Iran is failing at every level despite the awful deal made with them by the Obama administration", Mr Trump said, referring to the nuclear pact agreed under his predecessor Barack Obama. Unemployment remains high, and official inflation has crept up to 10% again.

That improvement has not reached the average Iranian, however.