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3700 arrested during protests in Iran: MP

3700 arrested during protests in Iran: MP

The protests have since dwindled amid arrests of more than 3,700 people, according to one Iranian lawmaker.

The official news website of the Iranian parliament, icana.ir, quoted Mahmoud Sadeghi of Tehran as saying different security and intelligence forces detained the protesters, making it hard to know the exact number of detainees.

The demonstrations were the largest in Iran since the June 2009 "Green Revolution", triggered by a presidential election that protesters said was fraudulent.

He did not elaborate or did he say where he got the figure.

The number is far higher than the 450 people Iranian authorities previously said were detained. He added that there would be more releases from detention, except for the main instigators of the riots who will be "dealt with seriously".

Tehran MP Mahmoud Sadeghi announced the official figure, which is much higher than previous estimates, via the state-run ICANA news agency on Tuesday.

But given the attempt by the Trump administration to associate itself with the protests and protesters, we are fated to spend 2018 dealing with the same hypocrisy which emanated from the White House and US Congress in 2017.

Iranian authorities have said the protests are waning, due in part to the government blocking access to the popular messaging app Telegram, which demonstrators used to share images of the rallies and organise.

It remains hard for journalists and outsiders to piece together what's happening beyond Tehran, as Iran is a vast country of 80 million and travel there is restricted.

UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson told the British Parliament Tuesday that "it is vital that the people of Iran and government of Iran should understand that we in this country support right to peaceful demo within the law".

The protests started in the Iran's second-largest city of Mashhad on December 28 before spreading to other cities.

In a series of tweets earlier Tuesday, Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, criticized Trump for tweeting his concerns about the protests and his statements about the intentions of the Iranian people.

Khamenei, however, also stressed that those with legitimate complaints about Iran's economy should be heard. "The solid people's stand will again tell the US, UK and those who live in London that you failed this time and will fail again".

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