Pro-government rallies in Iran as U.S. imposes fresh sanctions

Pro-regime rallies were held around Tehran Friday with authorities seeking to put the recent violent unrest to bed, as Washington slapped fresh sanctions on Iran and called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting.

Iranian officials blamed a plot by the CIA, Israel and Saudi Arabia for the unrest that convulsed much of the country for five days — part of the increasing tensions playing out between Iran and its neighbors since President Donald Trump came to power.

For a third straight day, there were large pro-government rallies, this time in 40 locations around Tehran province and several cities including Tabriz and Kerman after Friday prayers, as authorities declared the unrest over.

The U.S. imposed sanctions against five Iranian firms alleged to have been working on an illegal ballistic missile program, linking the move to the protests. (AFP)

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Pro-government rallies in Iran

Pro-government demonstrators hold a poster of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) and Iran’s founder of Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and shout slogans during a march following the weekly Muslim Friday prayers in Tehran on Jan. 5, 2018. (Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

Pro-government rallies in Iran

Iranian worshippers chant slogans while they burn a representation of U.S. flag during a rally against anti-government protestors after the Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 5, 2018. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)

Pro-government rallies in Iran

Iranian worshippers chant slogans during a rally against anti-government protestors after the Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 5, 2018. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)

Pro-government rallies in Iran

An Iranian woman wearing a portrait of Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei around her neck and the colours of the national flag shouts slogans during a pro-government march held after the weekly Friday prayers in central Tehran on Jan. 5, 2018. (Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

Pro-government rallies in Iran

Iranian worshippers attend the friday prayers at the Imam Khomeini mosque in Tehran, on Jan. 5, 2018. (Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

Pro-government rallies in Iran

Iranian senior cleric Ahmad Khatami delivers his sermon during Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)

Pro-government rallies in Iran

Iranians hold an Iranian flag during a protest after performing the Friday Prayer at Imam Khomeini Mosque followinga U.S. statement about backing the anti-government protests in Tehran, Iran on Jan. 05, 2018. (Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Pro-government rallies in Iran

A girl gestures as Senior Iranian cleric Ahmad Khatami conducts Friday sermon (Khutbah) during Friday prayer in Tehran, Iran on Jan. 5, 2018. (Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Pro-government rallies in Iran

An Iranian worshipper raises his fist during the friday prayers at the Imam Khomeini mosque in Tehran, on Jan. 5, 2018. (Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

Pro-government rallies in Iran

Iranian worshippers chant slogans during a rally against anti-government protestors after the Friday prayer ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 5, 2018. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)

Pro-government rallies in Iran

Iranian pro-government supporters march during a rally in support of the regime after authorities declared the end of deadly unrest, in the city of Mashhad on Jan. 4, 2018. (Photo: Nima Najafzadeh/AFP/Getty Images)

Pro-government rallies in Iran

Iranians take part during a state-organized rally against anti-government protests in the country, in Qom, Iran on Jan. 3, 2017. (Photo: Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Pro-government rallies in Iran

People take part in pro-government rallies, Iran, Jan. 3, 2018. (Photo: Tasnim News Agency/Handout via Reuters)

Pro-government rallies in Iran

Women attend a pro-government demonstration in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. (Photo: Morteza Jaberian/Tasnim News Agency via AP)

Pro-government rallies in Iran

People take part in pro-government rallies, Iran, Jan. 3, 2018. (Photo: Tasnim News Agency/Handout via Reuters)

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