Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called on the country's judiciary to take steps to ensure the security of people's "businesses and lives" amid protests in the capital that were triggered by economic woes.
Khamenei's comments at a meeting with judiciary officials on June 27 were his first public remarks on the protests that erupted earlier this week.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, tweeted that Iranians "are tired of the corruption, injustice & incompetence of their leaders" and that the "world hears their voice."
On June 25, protesters outside the parliament building in Tehran confronted security forces, who responded with tear gas. The protests, which continued sporadically over the next day, led to the temporary closure of the city's Grand Bazaar.
Khamenei said an "atmosphere of security" must be reinstated and that judiciary officials "must confront those who disrupt economic security."
On June 26, President Hassan Rohani reassured Iranians that his government will offset the economic pressure of upcoming U.S. sanctions after President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw America from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.
The resumption of sanctions could see Iran's hard currency earnings from oil exports drop substantially, prompting many Iranians to convert their savings in rials into hard currencies.
In a speech broadcast live on state television on June 26, Rohani said that government revenues have not decreased in recent months and blamed a fall in the value of the rial on "foreign-media propaganda."
In his tweet, Pompeo said "Iran's corrupt regime" is "wasting the country's resources" on backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and funding the Islamist Hizballah and Hamas movements, as well as the Shi'te Huthi rebels in Yemen, while "Iranians struggle."
"It should surprise no one #IranProtests continue. People are tired of the corruption, injustice & incompetence of their leaders," Pompeo wrote in the June 27 tweet. "The world hears their voice."