'Apologise & resign': Iranians rally against leaders for downing plane


Foreign ministers of the five countries which citizens died in the crash of a Ukraine International Airlines plane in Iran on January 8 will meet in London soon, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko has stated.

The scenes recall the anti-government protests across Iran in November which saw at least 300 people killed and thousands arrested across the country, according to Amnesty International.

Violence erupted in Tehran's Azadi Square, with police using tear gas at protesters who called for the responsible to be prosecuted, as well as for supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down.

Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752 was also carrying 82 Iranians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, 10 Afghans, three Germans, and three Britons.

"The police did not shoot at the gatherings at all because a restraint order (had been issued) for police in the capital". Iran's Fars news agency confirmed the protests.

One video posted on social media allegedly shows members of the paramilitary Basij Resistance Force, which is often used to suppress domestic dissent, attacking protesters in the area.

A disturbing video shows blood spilled on Tehran's Azadi street as people gather around a woman reportedly shot in the leg. Iran HRM, however, couldn't "independently verify the date of the video".

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The Swedish Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador in Stockholm on Monday in connection with the situation around the Ukrainian Boeing that was mistakenly downed by the Islamic republic last week, Foreign Minister Ann Linde has said. On Saturday - after US intelligence said evidence indicated it was shot down by a missile and several denials by Tehran - the Iranian government finally acknowledged the true cause. Since walking away from a 2015 nuclear deal in 2018, Trump has constricted the Islamic Republic with tough sanctions created to sever its global trade ties. The Trump administration has put the death toll from those demonstrations much higher - it says some 1,500 people were killed by security forces.

President Trump tweeted his support for the protesters in both English and Farsi, saying: "To the leaders of Iran - DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS". Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! "We will not rest until there is justice and accountability".

"What we don't want is somebody like the soldier, very low level, to be pointed and told that that is the guy who pushed the button..."

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) said it had obtained visas for two of its investigators to travel to Iran. She added that a second Canadian team of two investigators, charged with probing the black box recordings, will be deployed once a time and place for that investigation is confirmed. That missile attack came in retaliation for the death of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by an American drone strike near Baghdad on January 3.

Soleimani, who led the Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force, was killed in a USA air strike last week - igniting fears of a war between the two countries.

But other than in the case of the United States embassy in Baghdad, Esper would not confirm Trump's claim that four U.S. embassies in the region were among Soleimani's targets.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the shooting down of the plane a "disastrous mistake", while a top commander said he had told the authorities on the day of the crash it had been shot down, raising questions about why Iran had initially denied it.