Ukrainian Plane: Iranian Protesters Demand Leaders Quit

Middle East & Asia News
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Following the admittance of responsibility that it crashed a Ukrainian airline, protesters across Iran have come out in their large numbers for a second day increasing pressure on the Islamic Republic’s leadership to step down.

 

The demonstrators disclosed that the government of Iran is lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here,” one group of protesters chanted outside a university in Tehran, according to a video posted on Twitter.

Other posts showed demonstrators outside a second university and a group of protesters marching to Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) Square, as well as protests in other cities.

Some state-affiliated media carried reports of the university protests, which followed demonstrations on Saturday sparked by Iran’s admission that it's military mistakenly shot down the plane on Wednesday, killing all 176 aboard, at a time when Tehran feared U.S. airstrikes.

Some protesters in Azadi Square first called on officers there to join them, then turned their anger on the authorities, chanting anti-government slogans including “Down with the dictator” a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to social media posts and Iranian media reports.

The semi-official ILNA news agency said police moved to disperse the protesters, who it said numbered as many as 3,000. Videos posted online showed demonstrators running from police who used batons and teargas.

Although report exists that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani apologized for what he said was a “disastrous mistake”.

But a top Revolutionary Guards commander added to public anger when he said he had told the authorities on the same day as the crash that an Iranian missile had brought down the plane.

It would be recalled that public anger boiled up following days of denials by the military that it was to blame for the crash, issued even as Canada and the United States said it appeared that Iranian air defences had shot down the airliner, probably in error.

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