More than 3700 now being held over Iranian protests

Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gives an interview to The Associated Press at his office in Tehran Iran Saturday

"People rightfully say: 'See us, listen to our words, '" Rouhani said.

The President also ordered the Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade and the Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance, as well as the Governor of the Central Bank to take measures to increase costs so that the exporters of state and private sectors can directly export their products to target countries.

On Sunday, Tehran prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, said that 70 of the detained protesters have been released on bail during the last 48 hours.

"I think if you look outside of Tehran, there are tens of millions of Iranians barely struggling to get by, and the Islamic Republic is going to have a major challenge in governing a country in which the vast portion of its citizens ... does not accept its legitimacy", Nader said.

The U.S. House passed two bills in December that would seek to stop financial support for Iran's support of terror activities and has previously passed additional sanctions to be placed on Iran.

Numerous activists appeared to be young, disenfranchised working-class Iranians, giving the uprising a wholly different tenor to the Green Movement of 2009, which saw millions take to the streets and was driven by the middle classes.

As tens of thousands marched in the streets of Tehran on January 3 in support of the regime, the head of the Revolutionary Guard Corps assured Iranians the "sedition" had been defeated.

Demonstrators initially vented their anger over high prices and alleged corruption, but the protests took on a rare political dimension, with a growing number of people calling on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 78, to step down. However, there was supposed to be more job opportunities and a better life, but none of that has been reached and the US created new sanctions after Iran violated some of the agreement including launching a rocket this past summer.

For his part, Iran's top diplomat underlined that in addition to the statements it has issued on the necessity of preserving the JCPOA, the European Union should adopt practical measures to maintain and implement the nuclear accord.

Iranian authorities have said that the protests are waning.

Over the past week, protests erupted in a number of Iranian cities against the government's economic policies. Further reports that the regime has tortured or killed some of these demonstrators while in detention are even more disturbing.

The powerful Guard blamed the unrest on the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, as well as an exiled opposition group known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, and supporters of the monarchy that was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic Revolution. That is the essence of American leadership, and as the people of Iran now know, the United States is leading on the world stage for freedom once again. "It is specifically the same regime that the Iranian people, clearly, are fed up with as well", he said. The protests in dozens of towns and cities also showed that a sector of the public was willing to openly call for the removal of Iran's system of rule by clerics - frustrated not just by the economy but also by concern over Iran's foreign wars and general direction.

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