The Iranian government is reported to have begun a violent crackdown on protesters who are demanding the ouster of the supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. A video circulated on social media shows government forces firing live bullet rounds on unarmed protesters at Azadi Square in Tehran.
Protesters take to the streets
Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets over the past two days in several parts of Iran. On Sunday, the protesters in Tehran started gathering at a popular landmark the Azadi (Freedom) Square, where they are demanding the resignation of ayatollah Khameini.
"Khamenei have shame. Leave the country," chanted the protesters. Khamenei has been in office for three decades, and there is no limit to his term. Slogans were also raised against Iranian General Qassem Soleimani who was killed in a US missile strike in Iraq on January 3.
Protests have now spread to other cities, including Shiraz, Esfahan, Hamedan, and Orumiyeh, Reuters reported. Dozens of Iranian women also have joined the protests.
Attempts to crush protests
In a desperate attempt to quell the unrest, the regime forces have begun a violent crackdown. There are reports of tear gas being lobbed at the protesters.
The regime forces, it is believed, are also firing live bullet rounds on the protesters who are angry at the government for killing 176 people, mostly Iranians, traveling on the ill-fated Ukrainian passenger plane that was shot down by Iranian security forces using a surface-to-air missile.
Another video shared on social media showed protesters dragging away injured protesters dripping blood all over the pavement believed to be located around Azadi square. With tensions rising in the country, there are rumors that the supreme leader may announce his resignation.