Pro-government rallies held in Iran after days of protests
Pro-government demonstrations have been taking place in cities across Iran after a week of protests and unrest over the country's poor economy, according to state media.
The move was apparently seeking to calm nerves amid clashes that have killed at least 21 people.
The anti-government protests, the largest in Iran since its disputed 2009 presidential election, began on December 28 in the city of Mashhad, Iran's second-largest, over a weak economy and a rise in food prices.
They have since expanded to cities and towns in nearly every province.
Hundreds have been arrested, and a prominent judge warned that some could face the death penalty.
English-language broadcaster Press TV broadcast Wednesday's pro-government rallies live, saying they were to "protest the violence that has taken place over the last few nights in cities".
Demonstrators waved Iranians flags and signs supporting Iran's clerically overseen government.
The rallies come after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed days of protests across the country on meddling by "enemies of Iran".
"Look at the recent days' incidents," he said.
"All those who are at odds with the Islamic Republic have utilised various means, including money, weapons, politics and (the) intelligence apparatus, to create problems for the Islamic system, the Islamic Republic and the Islamic Revolution."
He avoided identifying any foreign countries, although he promised to elaborate in the coming days.
Undoubtedly high on his list is the US, where President Donald Trump has tweeted his support for the protests for several days.
Tehran has since shut down access to Telegram and the photo-sharing app Instagram, which join Facebook and Twitter in being banned, in an attempt to slow the unrest.
The Trump administration called on Tehran to stop blocking Instagram and other popular social media sites.
Undersecretary of state Steve Goldstein said Instagram, Telegram and other platforms are "legitimate avenues for communication".
The head of Tehran's Revolutionary Court also reportedly warned that arrested protesters could potentially face the death penalty.
"Obviously one of their charges can be Moharebeh," or waging war against God, Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Mousa Ghazanfarabadi as saying.