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Joe Roberts for Metro.co.uk

Police officer shot dead in Iran as anti-government protests rage on
Protesters storm the streets in Tehran (Picture: AFP/Getty)

A police officer has been shot dead and three others wounded as anti-government protests continue in Iran.

It is the first reported death among the security forces since demonstrations, which have claimed the lives of at least 12 protesters, began last week.

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A police spokesman said on state television that a ‘rioter’ shot at police with a hunting rifle in the city of Najaf Abad.

‘As a result, three were wounded, and one was martyred,’ he said.

Hundreds of people have been arrested in the capital Tehran after five days of country-wide demonstrations against the government.

Police officer shot dead in Iran as anti-government protests rage on
Anti-government protests have raged for five days across Iran (Picture: AFP/Getty)
Police officer shot dead in Iran as anti-government protests rage on
At least 10 protesters were killed overnight (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the protesters ‘brave’ and ‘heroic’ in a video posted to YouTube.

He said the protesters sought freedom, justice and ‘the basic liberties that have been denied to them for decades’.

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Mr Netanyahu criticised the Iranian regime’s response to the protests and also slammed European governments for watching ‘in silence’ as the protests turn violent.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said authorities ‘will deal’ with the ‘minority’ of protesters who ‘insult the sanctities and values of the revolution’.

He previously said Iranians have the right to protest despite messaging apps in the country being blocked.

Police officer shot dead in Iran as anti-government protests rage on
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani finally spoke after days of silence (Picture: EPA)

In a speech yesterday, President Rouhani criticised Donald Trump over his tweets about the protest.

He said he has ‘forgotten that he had called Iranian people “terrorists” a few months ago’.

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President Rouhani also warned that demonstrations should not cause the public to ‘feel concerned about their lives and security’.

President Donald Trump cheered on the protesters, saying: ‘The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism.’

He also tweeted that it looks like the Iranians ‘will not take it any longer’ and said ‘the USA is watching very closely for human rights violations’.

In response to the US President’s remarks, a Foreign Ministry spokesman in Iran said: ‘Iranian people give no credit to the deceitful and opportunist remarks of US officials or Mr Trump.’

Police officer shot dead in Iran as anti-government protests rage on
Protesters take to the streets of Tehran (Picture: AP)
Police officer shot dead in Iran as anti-government protests rage on
Opponents of President Rouhani hold a protest outside the Iranian embassy in London (Picture: Reuters)

Iran state TV reported earlier how the authorities had blocked Instagram and the messaging app Telegram.

The decision was reportedly made to maintain the ‘peace and security of the citizens’.

Telegram’s CEO previously said the app had been blocked for the majority of Iranians.

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