The Latest: Iran condemns Trump tweet on economic protests

December 30, 2017 - 7:55 am

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Latest on protests in Iran (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

Iran has strongly condemned U.S. President Donald Trump's tweet supporting a wave of economic protests sweeping major cities in Iran.

A state television report on Saturday quoted Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Ghasemi, as saying that "Iranian people give no credit to the deceitful and opportunist remarks of U.S. officials or Mr. Trump."

The economic protests began Wednesday in Mashhad. Officials say some 50 protesters have been arrested so far. U.S. President Donald Trump has tweeted out support for those protesting early Saturday.

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3:30 p.m.

Hundreds of students and others have joined a protest at Tehran University amid a wave of economic protests sweeping major cities in Iran.

Witnesses said they saw a mass of riot police at the gates of the university Saturday. Police officers had blocked off some streets around the university.

The economic protests began Wednesday in Mashhad and have spread elsewhere in the country.

Officials say some 50 protesters have been arrested so far. U.S. President Donald Trump has tweeted out support for those protesting.

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11 a.m.

Some 4,000 people are taking part in a pro-government rally in Tehran amid a series of economic protests in Iran.

The rally Saturday came after two days of unauthorized demonstrations across the country.

One pro-government demonstrator, 27-year-old Ali Ahmadi, blamed the U.S for all of Iran's economic problems.

Ahmadi told The Associated Press: "They always say that we are supporting Iranian people, but who should pay the costs?"

The economic protests began Wednesday. Officials say some 50 protesters have been arrested. U.S. President Donald Trump has tweeted out support for those protesting.

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9 a.m.

Iran is marking the end of protests surrounding its disputed 2009 presidential election as new demonstrations have erupted over the country's economic woes.

The government-sponsored demonstration planned for Saturday come as U.S. President Donald Trump has tweeted out support for those now protesting in major Iranian cities.

It's unclear if Trump's comments will sway Iranians already skeptical of him over his refusal to re-certify Iran's nuclear deal with world powers, as well as other remarks he's made. The State Department late Friday also offered support to the protesters.

The economic protests began Thursday after being sparked in part by social media and have drawn thousands into the streets in several cities in Iran. Demonstrators also have criticized Iran's government. There have been arrests reported in some areas.

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