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Trump rebukes ‘unstable’ Iran over internet shutdown

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Iranian men burn a US flag during a protest in support of the Islamic republic’s government and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

President Donald Trump on Thursday accused Iran of blocking the internet to cover up “death and tragedy” while the powerful Revolutionary Guards suggested that a wave of street protests is now over.

Trump’s intervention on Twitter further raised the temperature over the turmoil in Iran, which is already reeling from US-led economic and diplomatic pressure.

“Iran has become so unstable that the regime has shut down their entire Internet System so that the Great Iranian people cannot talk about the tremendous violence taking place within the country,” Trump tweeted.

“They want ZERO transparency, thinking the world will not find out the death and tragedy that the Iranian Regime is causing!” he wrote.

Demonstrations erupted in sanctions-hit Iran last Friday, hours after the price of gasoline was raised by as much as 200 percent.

Unrest spread to scores of urban centers, during which police stations were attacked, petrol pumps torched and shops looted.

A near total internet shutdown has made obtaining information on bloodshed difficult. Officials have confirmed five deaths, but Amnesty International has said the real death toll could be well over 100.

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The UN’s human rights office has said it was alarmed by reports that live ammunition had caused a “significant number of deaths.”

Iran’s mission to the UN called the Amnesty toll “speculative” and said Iran was subject to a “disinformation campaign.”

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