Iran's religious leadership backs legitimate demands of people

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani delivered a speech on Sunday evening in an attempt to ease tensions in the country.

Iran's deputy speaker of the parliament on Sunday said the Interior Ministry should accept public demands instead of "raising difficulties" in the wake of anti-government protests across the country.

Hundreds of people have been arrested.

It also said the Iranian government would crack down on those who were spreading negative propaganda against the country.

Officials said two people were killed when what were described as rioters seized a fire engine and then crashed into two other vehicles.

In the biggest challenge to Tehran since 2009, protests across the country continued for a third day. However, information about them remains scarce as both state-run and semi-official media in Iran have not widely reported on the protests.

Meanwhile on Sunday, an Iranian anti-regime protester said over Israel's Channel 10 that the Iranian people are "taking to the streets spontaneously in most cities in Iran" and have concluded that they must "get to the root" of Iran's problems, "the regime and the leadership".

The two were killed in the southwestern city of Izeh, the area's local member of parliament, Hedayatollah Khademi said.

Reports of the deaths of two protesters were posted on social media after clashes with police in the western city of Dorud.

And Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has warned anti-government protesters they will face the nation's "iron fist" if political unrest continues. Correspondents say it would be a significant escalation were they to become officially involved in policing the protests.

At least 30 people were killed and thousands arrested in the wave of protests, which drew the largest crowds in Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

While there is frustration over Iran's support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Palestinians and Lebanon's Hezbollah, high unemployment, rising fuel prices and poor economic prospects are of far greater concern.

  • Jon Douglas