He said Iran has no other option but to defy those who imposed sanctions on Tehran, "but we have not closed the window on talks". Trump himself, speaking to journalists before a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in London this week, claimed without evidence Iran has killed "thousands".
In October Japan said it planned to send a naval force to Middle East waters to guard ships supplying Japan, but declined to join any USA coalition to protect merchant vessels. Iran, meanwhile, began to break the deal's centrifuges, enrichment and stockpile limitations with hopes of pressuring Europe to offer it a way to sell crude oil overseas despite Washington's sanctions. Some sought to access arsenals inside the police and military posts, the report said.
"Extensive video footage verified and analyzed by Amnesty International's Digital Verification Corps shows security forces shooting at unarmed protesters", the group said. The surrounding oil-rich province's Arab population long has complained of discrimination by Iran's central government and insurgent groups have attacked area oil pipelines in the past there. Online videos purportedly from the area showed peaceful protests, as well as clashes between demonstrators and security forces.
State TV separately acknowledged confronting "rioters" in Tehran, as well as in the cities of Shiraz and Sirjan.
The struggle of ordinary Iranians to make ends meet has become harder since previous year when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from Tehran's nuclear deal with six world powers and reimposed sanctions that have further crippled Iran's oil-based economy.More news: 2020 iPad Pro 12.9 could have a next-gen screen and chipset
Tehran has given no official death toll, but Amnesty International on Monday said it documented the deaths of at least 208 protesters, making the disturbances the bloodiest since the 1979 uprising that swept the Shia leaders to power. Shahriar had seen heavy protests.
Amnesty International offered no breakdown for the deaths elsewhere in the country, although it said "the real figure is likely to be higher".
It also acknowledged killings in Tehran and in its suburb Shahriar, where Amnesty said it had recently learned of "dozens" of deaths.
However, Esmaili - like every other Iranian official since the crackdown - offered no evidence to support his claim, nor did he give any information on casualties. "They're having protests all over the country", he said. One Iranian lawmaker said he thought that over 7,000 people had been arrested, although Iran's top prosecutor disputed the figure without offering his own.
Iran was rocked by protests in November after the government increased gasoline prices by as much as 300% and introduced rationing as the economy struggles under crippling USA sanctions meant to curtail Iranian influence in the Middle East and weaken its leadership. That's 12 cents a litre, or about 50 cents a gallon. After a monthly 60-liter quota, it costs 30,000 rials a liter. That's almost 24 cents a liter or 90 cents a gallon. An average gallon of regular gas in the U.S. costs $2.58 by comparison, according to AAA.More news: Ex-FBI lawyer targeted by Trump breaks silence
Cheap gasoline is widely expected by consumers in Iran, home to the world's fourth-largest crude oil reserves. That disparity, especially given Iran's oil wealth, fueled the anger felt by demonstrators.
Iran's United Nations mission in NY called Amnesty's findings "unsubstantiated", without elaborating. The cost of daily staples also has risen. "Iran is killing perhaps thousands and thousands of people right now as we speak, that it why they cut off the internet so people can't see what is going on", he said on Sunday. The protests largely have subsided, and no group has offered estimates that high.
"The United States of America supports the fearless people of Iran who are protesting for their FREEDOM", the president tweeted on Tuesday while attending a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in London.
Trump later clarified his position, explaining during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that he misunderstood the original question as being about financial, rather than political, support.
Citing a senior diplomatic source, Kyodo said Iran's deputy foreign minister for political affairs Abbas Araqchi had relayed the proposal to Japan during a two-day visit to Tokyo as a special envoy of Rouhani.More news: Khloe Kardashian not on speaking terms with Caitlyn Jenner