Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 3
By Fatih Karimov – Trend:
As anti-government protests continued in several Iranian cities for sixth day, French presidency announced that the planed trip of Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to Iran was postponed.
Le Drian was scheduled to visit Tehran later this week.
French President Emmanuel Macron called his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani Jan. 2 to express concern over the number of casualties in the six-day-old protests which has surpassed 20 people.
According to western media, Macron urged Rouhani to show restraint in dealing with protests.
The United Nations also has expressed regret over the reported loss of life resulting from the protests in Iran, the news center of the UN said.
Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for António Guterres, told reporters in New York that the Secretary General “has been carefully following the reports of protests in a number of cities in Iran.”
“We regret the reported loss of life, and we hope that further violence will be avoided,” he continued.
“We expect that the rights to peaceful assembly and expression of the Iranian people will be respected.”
Some Iranian officials including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused foreigners and Iran’s enemies of fomenting the unrest, which began as protests about economic hardship and corruption but have grown into political rallies.
Only in capital city of Tehran, at least 450 people have been arrested in recent days, according to Ali-Asghar Naserbakht, deputy governor of Tehran city.