Protests grow after Iran admits to downing airliner

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Ukraine International Airlines president''No more insinuations

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Ukraine International Airlines president''No more insinuations

The protests started on Saturday afternoon as mournful gatherings for the Iranian lives lost in the crash and soon turned into people chanting "death to liars" and seeking Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's resignation after the authorities confessed that the Iranian military mistakenly shot down the plane.

Videos shared online showed thousands of university students amassed outside of Tehran University on Sunday to protest the regime.

Another video shows a woman being carried away in the aftermath as a trail of blood is seen on the ground.

Riot police in black uniforms and helmets gathered earlier Sunday in Vali-e Asr Square, at Tehran University and other landmarks.

"Demonstrations that had been attacking the USA for killing Iran's top general quickly turned into calls of 'death to the dictator, ' a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei", Kenyon reported.

"They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here", another group outside a Tehran university chanted.

Reuters could not authenticate the videos.

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Officials and state media issued apologies for failing to report accurately on the crash.

In a statement carried by Iran's state broadcaster's website on January 13, Tehran's police chief Hossein Rahimi denied that shots had been fired at protesters.

Iranian authorities killed hundreds of protesters in November in what appears to have been the bloodiest crackdown on anti-government unrest since the 1979 revolution.

"While the Iranian nation was mourning [for the loss of their dear ones in the Ukrainian plane incident], Trump shed crocodile tears for people in Persian language and claimed that he was standing beside the Iranian people", he told reporters in Tehran.

Trump late Sunday slapped O'Brien down, saying, 'Actually, I couldn't care less if they negotiate. Rad, too, thanked Iranians for their support, but said that "after 21 years of working in radio and television".

Iran has admitted the plane was mistaken for a hostile target amid soaring tensions with the United States. It denies seeking nuclear arms.

According to social media users, dozens of protesters were arrested on Sunday in various cities including Tehran, Babol, Kermanshah, Amol and Tabriz where 10 students were arrested on Sunday but were freed later. Washington blamed pro-Iran militia and launched air strikes that killed at least 25 fighters.

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Gen Hajizadeh said on Saturday that Iran's air defences were on the highest state of alert because the Revolutionary Guards had just fired ballistic missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Qasem Soleimani.

She added that "there have been early signs that Iran is allowing the TSB to play a more active role than normally permitted", such as inviting its investigators to participate in downloading and analyzing the data in the cockpit voice and flight data recorders "whenever and wherever that takes place".

General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Guard's aerospace division, said his unit accepts full responsibility for shooting down the plane.

Canada held vigils. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told one event: "We will not rest until there are answers".

Canada's Transportation Safety Board plans to visit the site of the crash, on the invitation of Iran's Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau.

The government spokesman also said Britain's ambassador to Iran had acted in a way that was "completely unprofessional and unacceptable", after he was briefly detained near a protest on Saturday.

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