State TV also said some protesters chanted the name of Iran's one-time shah, who fled into exile just before its 1979 Islamic Revolution. Authorities also reacted with force to the current wave of demonstrations - at least 21 people had been killed and hundreds arrested as The World Weekly went to press- but so far have refrained from the type of mass crackdown seen nearly a decade ago.
Hardliners have long opposed Mr. Rouhani's policies, especially his outreach to the West.The current wave of protests has sparked comparisons with the mass unrest in 2009 after the controversial re-election of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Much of the protesters' anger has focused on what Rouhani and his government have failed to deliver: an economic boom promised as the payoff for the 2015 deal that curbed Iran's disputed nuclear program in return for world powers lifting sanctions.
The protests started on December 28 in Mashhad and unexpectedly spread to dozens of cities across the country.
Now, they've morphed into demands for wholesale change in Iran's theocratic government.
Iran's supreme leader accused the country's enemies on Tuesday of being behind days of street unrest, as the death toll from anti-government demonstrations rose to 22, according to Reuters.
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"Recent protests seem to be a threat, but they are actually an opportunity to see what the problem is", Rouhani said during a meeting with chairmen of the parliamentary committees.
The pro-government crowds included women wearing the all-encompassing black chador, the occasional man in military fatigues and Shiite clerics wearing black turbans identifying them as descendants of the Prophet Muhammad.
The English-language broadcaster PressTV broadcast the rallies live on Wednesday, saying they were to "protest the violence that has taken place over the last few nights in cities".
Some chanted, "We don't want an Islamic Republic" and "Death to the dictator", the latter being a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump is many things to different groups, but what he is not is a European pushover or afraid to side with the hungry and deserving people of Iran against the corrupt Revolutionary Guard lead by the supreme leader.
Undoubtedly high on his list is the United States, where President Donald Trump has tweeted his support for the protests for several days.
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Following Monday temperatures return to winter averages with daytime temps above freezing and falling below freezing at nights. Precipitation is more likely Friday night, but with warming weather it should fall as rain.
"Iran is failing at every level despite the bad deal made with them by the Obama administration", Mr Trump tweeted yesterday, referring to the 2015 nuclear pact sealed under his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama. Rouhani has dismissed Trump's criticisms, while many Iranians remain angry with the American president over his travel bans barring them from getting US visas, as well as his refusal to re-certify the nuclear deal.
He added: "You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!"
Ryabkov also said Washington "is tempted to use the moment to raise new issues with regard to the JCPOA", the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that limits Iran's nuclear programme, including restricting uranium enrichment for 10 years.
"Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, my life will only be sacrificed for Iran", one chant reportedly went.Independent reports of the number of demonstrators and protest locations are hard to come by.
The president said residents should be united in dealing with the problem. Rouhani's office did not mention the comment.
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