Iranian Protesters Have Been Arrested by the Government, Lawmaker Says

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Previously, authorities had said "hundreds" were arrested in Tehran alone, not offering a total figure for arrests as the demonstrations spread into the Iranian countryside, including small towns. USA officials had put the number held at 1,000.

"Due to the fact that several security organizations had made the arrests, it will take some time to give an accurate count", Sadeghi said.

But given the attempt by the Trump administration to associate itself with the protests and protesters, we are fated to spend 2018 dealing with the same hypocrisy which emanated from the White House and US Congress in 2017.

In recent days, government supporters have held several mass rallies across the country to oppose the unrest.

"This is due to our people's continued support".

"In standing with the Iranian people, we must explain that they are not the target of our sanctions".

"In this House, we are on both sides of the Iran nuclear deal, but we are united in knowing that Iran is not an ally of the United States, at least the Islamic Republic of Iran is not", Representative Brad Sherman, a Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Tuesday. Human rights activists are now concerned about protesters dying in prison.

The House "stands with the people of Iran that are engaged in legitimate and peaceful protests against an oppressive, corrupt regime", and condemns the government's "serious human rights abuses against the Iranian people", the resolution stated.

National Police spokesman Saeed Montazer al-Mahdi said Sunday that the majority of those detained had been released on bail, but that "the leaders of the disturbances are being held by the judiciary", the state-run Al-Alam News Agency reported.

The mainly young protesters rallied against President Hassan Rouhani's government, complaining of a stagnant economy, rampant corruption and rising fuel and food prices.

Tehran and Washington have engaged in a fiery exchange of words over USA use of social media to encourage Iranians to protest.

The US and Israel have expressed support for the protests, which began on December 28 in Iran's second largest city, Mashhad, but deny Iranian government allegations that they fomented them.