The United States has expressed support for anti-government protests in Iran, saying the Iranian people have a right to hold their government accountable for the current situation.

US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a tweet on Sunday, “We support their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression online and offline -- without fear of violence and reprisal”. “Brave Iranian protestors are standing up for their rights”.

This is the first official reaction by the Biden Administration to the ongoing protests in several Iranian cities, triggered by a sudden hike in food prices. But the unrest has quickly turned into anti-Islamic Republic protests with people chanting slogans against top government leaders.

Sunday night, people were heard chanting “Death to Raisi”, “Death to Khamenei”, as some gunshots were heard in Shahre Kord, the center of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari provinc. Some reports said that security forces directly fired at demonstrators. So far, five deaths have been reported in more than a week of protests. Security forces also use batons and tear gas against protesters.

Many citizens have also been detained but there is no total number reported by reliable sources. Many younger people are among the detainees and some reports speak of security forces arresting whole families if some members were identified during protests.

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