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Iranian president says people are ‘free to protest’ despite blocking messaging apps

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Joe Roberts for Metro.co.uk

Iranian president says people are 'free to protest' despite blocking messaging apps
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani finally speaks after days of protests (Picture: EPA)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said his people have the right to protest despite authorities blocking messaging apps.

Around 200 people were reportedly arrested in Tehran today after four days of country-wide demonstrations against the government.

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In a speech on New Year’s Eve, President Rouhani criticised Donald Trump over his tweets about the protest.

He said he has ‘forgotten that he had called Iranian people “terrorists” a few months ago’.

President Rouhani also warned that demonstrations should not cause the public to ‘feel concerned about their lives and security’.

Iranian president says people are 'free to protest' despite blocking messaging apps
Protesters take to the streets of Tehran (Picture: AP)
Iranian president says people are 'free to protest' despite blocking messaging apps
Opponents of President Rouhani hold a protest outside the Iranian embassy in London (Picture: Reuters)

So far at least two protesters are believed to have been killed during the rallies.

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President Donald Trump cheered on the protesters, saying: ‘The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism.’

He also tweeted that it looks like the Iranians ‘will not take it any longer’ and said ‘the USA is watching very closely for human rights violations’.

In response to the US President’s remarks, a Foreign Ministry spokesman in Iran said: ‘Iranian people give no credit to the deceitful and opportunist remarks of US officials or Mr Trump.’

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Iran state TV reported earlier how the authorities had blocked Instagram and the messaging app Telegram.

The decision was reportedly made to maintain the ‘peace and security of the citizens’.

Telegram’s CEO previously said the app had been blocked for the majority of Iranians.

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