Iranians continue to take to the streets in 2018 in a series of protests that began in response to high unemployment and living costs.
As CNN reported, the demonstrations have since come to reflect a more general referendum on the nation’s government, echoing similar public protests in 2009.
With protests moving into their fifth day, at least 12 people have been killed in different regions. President Hassan Rouhani, however, is playing down the violence as well the impact of the demonstrations overall.
“Our great nation has witnessed a number of similar incidents in the past and has comfortably dealt with them,” he said. “This is nothing.”
U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed support via Twitter for the protesters.
Trump’s response earned him some rare bipartisan praise, but some Republicans, including U.S. Sen Lindsey Graham, are urging him to go further.
“It’s not enough to watch,” the South Carolina senator said in a CBS interview Sunday. “President Trump is tweeting very sympathetically to the Iranian people. But you can’t tweet here. You have to lay out a plan.”