Tehran police chief denies shots fired at protesters - Iran state media

Ruben Fields
January 13, 2020

Mr Araghchi said when police informed him that a man was arrested who claimed to be the British ambassador he did not believe them.

The plane was shot down several hours after Iran had fired missiles at USA and coalition military bases in Iraq in retaliation for the US assassination of Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani.

Protesters chant slogans while holding up posters of Gen. Qassem Soleimani during a demonstration in front of the British Embassy in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020.

Iranian protesters and newspapers piled pressure on the country's leadership and riot police stepped up their presence in Tehran on Sunday after Iran's military admitted that it had mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian airliner.

"Our enemy is here", chanted others in a video that circulated on social networks.

Tehran's police chief said in a statement on Monday that no shots were fired during Sunday's events and that officers were under orders to show restraint.

The images feature Khalaj Abad, Iran, the region where the Boeing 737 plane from the Ukraine International Airlines crashed after it was shot down.

"After successive national traumas in a short time period, people should be allowed to safely grieve and demand accountability", said Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran.

Despite the fact that top officials repeatedly said that it was "impossible" for the IRGC to have shot down the aircraft, the secretary of Iran's top national security body, Ali Shamkhani, claimed that leaders never meant to cover up the disaster.

A number of Iranian newspapers have covered the vigils for the victims of the disaster alongside headlines such as "Shame" and "Unforgivable".

Criticism of the authorities in Iran is not unusual, but it tends to stay in narrow boundaries.

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Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal , again, in a must-win match to keep Serbia in contention. Photo Kyrgios was frustrated as he struggled against Roberto Bautista Agut.

The press attacks and protests add to challenges facing the establishment, which in November faced the country's bloodiest unrest since the 1979 Islamic revolution. But if you look at what is happening on the ground today, you have yesterday in Tehran and other cities, Iranians singing", dead to Ayatollah, "he said. The government blocked Internet access for days, making it hard to gauge the scale of the protests and subsequent crackdown.

The tweet in Farsi appears to be an attempt by Trump to speak directly to the Iranian people.

At the protests, the U.K.'s ambassador to Iran, Robert Macaire, was arrested for "inciting" protesters, but was released after a few hours, according to Iran's Tasnim news agency.

Protests inside Iran followed a build up of tension between Iran and the United States, which withdrew from Tehran's nuclear pact with world powers in 2018 and then re-imposed sanctions that have steadily crippled the Iranian economy.

It's still unclear what prompted President Trump to order the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani on January 3.

The U.S. has again become an illegal occupation force inside Iraq, as it has been in Syria, and will aim to do the same by force or by proxy to Iran if Iranians fail to remain united against U.S. threats come what may.

"Shooting down a civilian aircraft is horrific".

Trudeau's office confirmed on Saturday that the prime minister will address the memorial service, due to be held in a basketball arena that seats 1,700 people in the western city of Edmonton. "You can see the Iranian people are standing up and asserting their rights, their aspirations for a better government, a different regime".

The U.S. president conveyed his support for the protesters on Twitter, writing, "We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage".

Senior congressional leaders - the so-called Gang of Eight - were briefed January 8 as skepticism mounted about the administration's rationale for a killing that raised the risk of war with Iran.

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