The US says “the world is watching” how Iranian authorities respond to anti-government protests that have broken out in several cities.
Thousands of people have joined the protests, with scores arrested.
A White House statement said Iranians were fed up with “the regime’s corruption and its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism”.
Meanwhile, authorities urged supporters to turn out for nationwide demonstrations on Saturday.
The rallies are commemorating the 2009 demonstrations held in support of the then conservative government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Those demonstrations were in response to protests by reformists over a disputed election which returned him to power.
The BBC’s Persian Service says thousands of people were likely to have been bussed into a rally in the capital Tehran.
What was the US response?
“The Iranian government should respect their people’s rights, including their right to express themselves. The world is watching,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Twitter.
The tweet later appeared on President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.
The US State Department urged all nations “to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for basic rights and an end to corruption”.
First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri has suggested that government opponents are behind the protests, according to comments reported by state broadcaster IRIB.
He said: “Some incidents in the country these days are on the pretext of economic problems, but it seems there is something else behind them. They think by doing this they harm the government, but it will be others who ride the wave.”
Earlier, Fars news agency reported that protesters in Kermanshah had destroyed some public property and were dispersed.
The governor-general of Tehran said that any such gatherings would be firmly dealt with by the police, who are out in force on the main roads.
Officials in Mashhad said the protest was organised by “counter-revolutionary elements”, and video online showed police using water cannon.
Source » bbc