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Pro-government rallies in Iran

Pro-government demonstrators hold a poster of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) and Iran’s founder of Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and shout slogans during a march following the weekly Muslim Friday prayers in Tehran on Jan. 5, 2018. (Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

Pro-government rallies in Iran as U.S. imposes fresh sanctions

Pro-regime rallies were held around Tehran Friday with authorities seeking to put the recent violent unrest to bed, as Washington slapped fresh sanctions on Iran and called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting.

Iranian officials blamed a plot by the CIA, Israel and Saudi Arabia for the unrest that convulsed much of the country for five days — part of the increasing tensions playing out between Iran and its neighbors since President Donald Trump came to power.

For a third straight day, there were large pro-government rallies, this time in 40 locations around Tehran province and several cities including Tabriz and Kerman after Friday prayers, as authorities declared the unrest over.

The U.S. imposed sanctions against five Iranian firms alleged to have been working on an illegal ballistic missile program, linking the move to the protests. (AFP)

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