Reports coming from the mainly Sunni city of Zahedan in southeastern Iran say at least 19 people were killed on Friday as police opened fire at protesters.
Videos obtained by Iran International showed security forces violently cracking down on the protests in the city.
Gunshots are heard in videos as protesters congregate outside a police station. Local sources say that angry protesters have managed to take control of a police station. In the videos, choppers are also seen flying over the protesters in the city.
The government says protesters tried to storm three police station, but that cannot be verified from videos published on social media.
The official IRNA news agency has confirmed 19 deaths, but unofficial sources cite higher figures.
Molavi Abdolhamid, the religious leader of Iran’s largely Sunni Baluch population living in the province and Iran's top Sunni cleric, has called on the Law Enforcement forces to crack down on protesters.
The Sunni cleric in Iran, sometimes critical of the government, confirmed reports last Friday about the rape of a 15-year-old girl in June by Colonel Ebrahim Khouchakzai, the commander of the police in the city of Chabahar.
That incident and the current protests in other cities triggered the tensions in Zahedan on Friday.