30 December, 2017
In Mashhad, the second most populated city in Iran, capital of the northeastern province of Khorassan Razavi, the protest began in Shohada Square outside the Municipality building and quickly spread to a vast area. Iranian dissidents are talking about an "uprising" that may be more significant than the "Green Revolution" of 2009, and perhaps more hard for the government to suppress with violence, especially since some of the demonstrators have indicated a willingness to fight back, or to stand their ground in the face of police and militia action.
Nazar and the semi-official Ilna news agency reported that there were also smaller protests on Thursday in Neyshabour, Kashmar, Yazd and Shahroud.
Thousands of people took to the streets of Iran for a second day of protests yesterday as anger mounts over a growing economic crisis.
Some social media videos showed demonstrators chanting "Death to Rouhani" and "Death to the dictator".
Various chants appeared to target both Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, without naming him, and President Hassan Rohani.
Political rallies are rare in Iran, but demonstrations are often held over economic issues such as layoffs, nonpayment of salaries, and price hikes.
Some protestors 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.
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Videos posted on social media showed some protesters in Mashhad chanting slogans including "Death to the dictator" and "Death to Rohani", with police using water cannons to push back the crowds.
Prominent conservative cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda called earlier for tough action against the protests.
Iran's state-run IRNA news agency quoted Mohammad Rahim Norouzian, the Mashhad governor, as saying there was an illegal "No To High Prices" gathering in the city.
According to a BBC Persian investigation, Iranians have become 15 percent poorer in the past 10 years, on average.
Rouhani's government has faced criticism since his May re-election from both hardline opponents and disillusioned supporters, who had been expecting a broader economic recovery following the country's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and easing of worldwide sanctions.
Fars reported that protesters in Kermanshah chanted anti-government slogans such as "never mind Palestine, think about us", "death or freedom" and "political prisoners should be freed". About 3.2 million Iranians are jobless, out of a total population of 80 million.