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IRGC Claims Tehran Is Calm, While Protests Continued - Tension Around Esfahan

Protets also took place in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, in the oil producing region.

After midnight, January 2, Iran local time, ISNA quoted the commander of Islamic Revolution Guard Corps in Tehran saying that the capital "is peaceful" and "we will not allow insecurity to continue in Tehran".

Brigadier General Mohammad Kosari insisted that the IRGC has plays no role in confronting protests in Tehran. He said that police is in charge and dealing with the situation.

General Kosari made a similar statement on Saturday, after which larger protests took place in Tehran.

Local news reports, as well as reports received by Radio Farda indicate that in the evening there were protests and clashes between security forces and protesters in some parts of the capital.

It is not clear how large were the protests, but towns around the central city of Esfahan witnessed many protests and clashes.

There are many contradictory reports about the events in the Esfahan area. One report, picked up by Tasnim and other news agencies, spoke of a police officer having been shot by protesters in Najafabad, a town just west of Esfahan. Agencies said that a protester with a hunting rifle had fired at security forces.

No other details are available and other sources have not confirmed the news.

Another report said a policeman was set ablaze by angry demonstrators, which has been denied by officials.

A third report in local media spoke of an attack by protesters on a government building in Ghahderijan , near Esfahan, where five protesters are said to have been killed. No other details were available.

ISNA reported that several activists in Kerman, who had established a channel on the social media app Telegram to organize protests have been arrested. ISNA's source is an unnamed security official.

The Islamic Republic blocked telegram on Sunday. The social media app is believed to have 40 million users in Iran and is an effective platform for sharing news and organizing gatherings.