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Tipsheet

Iranian Protesters Demand Regime Change After Government Admits to Shooting Down Plane

Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP

Iranian protesters filled the streets of Tehran to demand the resignation of Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei after the the Iranian government finally admitted to shooting down a Ukrainian passenger plane that was carrying 176 people on board, 130 of them Iranian citizens. The plane was shot down only hours after Iran launched missile attacks on two bases in Iraq that were housing American troops. The government of Iran had spent three days denying any involvement in the plane's demise, initially claiming the plane crash was due to mechanical issues with the aircraft. 

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(Via the Daily Mail

Angry crowds gathered on Saturday night in at least four locations in Tehran, chanting 'death to liars' and calling for the country's supreme leader to step down over the tragic military blunder, video from the scene shows.

What began as mournful vigils for Iranian lives lost on the flight soon turned to outrage and protest against the regime, and riot police quickly cracked down, firing tear gas into the crowd. 

'Death to the Islamic Republic' protesters chanted, as the regime's security forces allegedly used ambulances to sneak heavily armed paramilitary police into the middle of crowds to disperse the demonstration.

...

On Saturday afternoon, candlelight vigils at universities in Tehran for the victims of Flight 752 began to turn to protests against the regime. Large protests were reported at the universities of Tehran, Sharif Industrial, Amir Kabir, and Allameh. 

At Amirkabir University, protesters chanted 'Down with the dictator' and 'shame on IRGC [Revolutionary Guard], let the country go.' 

At Sharif University, crowds of outraged Iranians chanted 'commander in chief, resign!' The Ayatollah is Iran's commander in chief.

'Our enemy is right here; they lie when they say it's the US' protesters were heard chanting in one video. 

'I now believe the word of the Great Satan,' one protester wrote in Persian on Twitter, apparently referring to the U.S. intelligence reports that blamed Iran for shooting the plane down, which the regime furiously denied at first.

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President Trump addressed "the long-suffering people of Iran" on Twitter, declaring he would continue to stand alongside them and said he was following the protests closely. 

The president also tweeted that Iran must allow human rights groups to monitor the protests to make sure another massacre of peaceful protesters or an internet shutdown does not take place. "The world is watching," the president warned. 

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The UK ambassador to Iran was reportedly arrested and accused of planning anti-government actions during the protests. The Times of Israel reports the ambassador was released after being held for several hours. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called the arrest an outrage and "a flagrant violation of international law.” Reports suggest the ambassador was merely taking photographs of the demonstrations.

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This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates. 

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