Iranian police officer killed in protests
By Jessica Stone
According to Iranian state media, an Iranian police officer has been killed and three other officers wounded in the protests currently sweeping the nation.
It’s the first reported fatality among security forces trying to reign in those demonstrations.
According to Iranian police, a protester opened fire on police using a hunting rifle at a demonstration in the central city of Najafabad. Three more officers were also wounded.
The demonstrations began on Thursday in northeast Iran. Protesters specifically chanted against the government and its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. They want their country to pull out of costly proxy wars with Saudi Arabia, and focus on rebuilding the economy. Fuel and food prices are rising, as is unemployment.
People gather to protest over high cost of living in Tehran, Iran, December 30, 2017. /VCG Photo

People gather to protest over high cost of living in Tehran, Iran, December 30, 2017. /VCG Photo

Even as he allowed a temporary block on social media, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on the protesters and police to remain peaceful.
“So the people have a right to criticize, all over the country,” said Rouhani. “But, criticism is entirely different from violence and damaging public properties."
On Monday, he called the protests an opportunity.
“In my opinion, what happened in the past few days, on the surface looked like a threat, but we need to turn it into an opportunity,” he said.
Meanwhile, global reactions are building. Berlin is calling on Tehran to respect the rights of protesters, and on all sides to refrain from violence.
Screenshot of German Foreign Office's tweet

Screenshot of German Foreign Office's tweet

The Russian Foreign Ministry is accusing foreigners of stoking the protests, saying quote:
“External interference which may destabilize the situation is unacceptable,” according to Russian outlets, Sputnik and RT Television.
After repeatedly weighing in on the situation in Iran through Twitter, US President Donald Trump tweeted Monday too.
Screenshot of Trump's tweet

Screenshot of Trump's tweet

Sunday, Rouhani accused Trump of “always acting against the Iranian people” – blocking their visas to the US and failing to certify the Iran nuclear deal. Under US law, Trump has until January 13 to recertify the deal again.