Video: Iran Protesters Shot, Tear-Gassed by Police on Tehran Streets

Iranian security forces stand guard in front of the British embassy in the capital Tehran on January 12, 2020 following the British ambassador's arrest for allegedly attending an illegal demonstration. - Chanting "Death to Britain", up to 200 protesters rallied outside the mission a day after the brief arrest of …

Iranian security forces used tear gas and live rounds to turn back angry crowds Sunday night as people rallied against the Islamic Republic’s leadership.

The protests began after the government admitted a Ukrainian jetliner was downed by the country’s own military.

No immediate report in Iranian state-run media confirmed the incident near Azadi, or Freedom Square in Tehran, however much of the action was captured on video including those chanting slogans against the regime and the former head of its foreign terrorist organization, Qasem Soleimani.

Hossein Rahimi, head of the Tehran police, denied his forces had shot at demonstraters.

“At protests, police absolutely did not shoot because the capital’s police officers have been given orders to show restraint,” he said in a statement carried by the state broadcaster’s website.

Videos sent to the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran and later verified by the Associated Press contradict that claim.  They show a large crowd of demonstrators fleeing as a tear gas canister landed among them.

Choking protesters try to escape the fumes while calling for help, with one woman crying in Farsi: “They fired tear gas at people! Azadi Square. Death to the dictator!”

Another video shows a woman being carried away in the aftermath as a blood trail can be seen on the ground. Those around her cry out that she has been shot by live ammunition in the leg.

“Oh my God, she’s bleeding nonstop!” one person shouts. Another shouts: “Bandage it!”

Photos and video after the incident show pools of blood on the sidewalk.

Earlier in the day, U.S. President President Trump warned Iran’s leaders not to kill their protesters.

The crash of the Ukraine International Airline jetliner early on Wednesday killed all 176 people on board, mostly Iranians and Iranian-Canadians.

After pointing to a technical failure and insisting for three days that the Iranian armed forces were not to blame, authorities on Saturday admitted accidentally shooting it down in the face of mounting evidence and accusations by Western leaders.

Amirali Hajizadeh, the head of the aerospace division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), told reporters on Saturday that, upon hearing that Iranian military forces shot down the civilian aircraft, “I wished I was dead so I wouldn’t have to see such an accident.”

Breitbart News reported Trump shared messages of support for the Iran protesters over the weekend, promising not to turn away as they struggled to let their voices be heard.

Trump wrote the message on Twitter in English and Farsi as hundreds of Iranians protested the regime in Tehran.

The president also pressured the Iranian government to allow human rights groups to monitor the protests.

“There can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown,” he wrote. “The world is watching.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also demonstrated support for the protesters.

“We stand with the Iranian people who deserve a better future,” he wrote, criticizing the Iranian regime’s “lies, corruption, ineptitude, and brutality.”

At earlier protests Saturday, students in Tehran shouted at police: “They are lying that our enemy is America! Our enemy is right here!”

AP contributed to this report

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