Iranian army commander offers to help police suppress unrest which killed 21 people

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s army chief declared on Thursday that police had already quelled anti-government unrest that has killed 21 people but that his troops were ready to intervene if needed, as Tehran staged more pro-government rallies.

The protests, which seem spontaneous and without a unifying leader, erupted a week ago in Iran’s second city of Mashhad over economic hardships – mostly high youth unemployment, costly living standards and alleged corruption.

“Although this blind sedition was so small that a portion of the police force was able to nip it in the bud … you can rest assured that your comrades in the Islamic Republic’s army would be ready to confront the dupes of the Great Satan (United States),” Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi was quoted in official media as saying.

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