Despite frigid conditions, Iranian protesters soldiered on launching the fifth day of rallies in various cities in western Iran to show support for their country's Islamic Revolution.
Pockets of pro-government protests erupted Sunday in Shahr-e Kord, Mahabad, Yazd and Qazvin with a wave of the nation's flag and demonstrators marching to the beat of slogans denouncing Western-backed violence and sedition across the nation.
Since Dec. 28, opposition riots have led to at least 20 deaths and over 1,000 arrests. What began peacefully quickly turned violent with participants attacking government and religious properties. Police and government supporters have worked together to quell the violence and vandalism.
Within the walls of Iran’s Parliament, state officials from the Department of Interior Intelligence met to discuss the opposition protests, which were a result of dissension concerning the current economic climate, Iranian police reported.
A report itemizing the roots of riots and continued violence was presented by Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli and Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi.
The parliamentary session comes one day after an emergency meeting was called by the United Nations Security Council at the request of the U.S. amid criticism of unsolicited attempts at intervention on the part of the nation in support of the Iranian opposition.
"The U.S. is watching what you do," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said during Friday's meeting. She praised opposition protesters, describing them as a "spontaneous expression of fundamental human rights" and a "powerful exhibition of brave people who have become so fed up with their oppressive government that they are willing to risk their lives in protests."
However, following the U.N. session, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted, "The UNSC rebuffed the US' naked attempt to hijack its mandate ... Another FP (foreign policy) blunder for the Trump administration."
Thousands of pro-government protesters supporting the current administration were seen Saturday across Iran as participants shouted slogans condemning the U.S., the U.K. and Israel.