Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Sunday that the recent unrest, the most serious facing the regime since 2009 was the work foreign enemies and was put down the countries security forces. But the crisis has the government and security forces meeting to discuss this latest development.

There has been more than a week of unrest in Iran in which 22 people have died and more than 1,000 arrested, according to Iranian officials. The protests spread to more than 80 cities and rural towns as thousands of young and working-class Iranians expressed their anger at graft, unemployment and a deepening gap between rich and poor.

Residents contacted by Reuters in various cities have said the protests had subsided after the government intensified a crackdown by dispatching Revolutionary Guards forces to several provinces.

“Iran’s revolutionary people along with tens of thousands of Basij forces, police and the Intelligence Ministry have broken down the chain (of unrest),” the Guards said in a statement on their Sepahnews website. The Guards said the unrest had been “created … by the United States, Britain, the Zionist regime (Israel), Saudi Arabia, the hypocrites (Mujahideen) and monarchists.”

In response, the government staged pro-regime rallies with thousands of government supporters chanting “Death to America”, Death to Israel”, “Death to Britain”, “Death to seditionists” in a backlash against the anti-government protests.

The anti-government protests have attracted the young, the student population, the working people as well as the educated middle-class which is problematic for the power brokers in Tehran.

Iran Protests Spread, Despite Army’s Declaration of Being Over

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There are about 90 students being held in prison and about 10 are unaccounted for. The official line is that many of the young people were “duped” into joining the anti-government protests and most were freed on bail. But according to the Revolutionary Guards, “but, the leaders of the unrest are held by the judiciary in prison.”

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