Pro-government rallies in Iran after days of protest, unrest

TEHRAN: Iranian state media on Wednesday aired pro-government demonstrations in cities across the country after a week of protests and unrest over the nation’s poor economy — a move apparently seeking to calm nerves amid clashes that have killed 21 people.

The protests, the largest seen in Iran since its disputed 2009 presidential election, began December 28 in the city of Mashhad, Iran’s second-largest, over the weak economy and a jump 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.