People in Rasht, Iran protested and called Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his allies "shameless."

* VOA could not independently verify the authenticity of these videos.

READ MORE: Iran has deployed riot police in Tehran, the capital, as the country braces for another day of protests after the military admitted to mistakenly shooting down a civilian Ukrainian plane, killing all 176 on board

Demonstrations were held in several Iranian cities Saturday, with protesters venting anger after news that Iranian officials lied about the country's role in the deadly crash.

In Tehran, protesters gathered near universities and called for the resignation of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and chanted, "Down with liars!" and "Death to dictator!"

VOA’s Persian news service reported protests also spread to other areas of Iran, including the country’s third-largest city of Isfahan.

Saturday's demonstrations came two months after Iran cracked down on massive anti-government protests, brought about by an increase in the price of subsidized gasoline in November. Iran declined to release a death toll at the time, but Amnesty International said more than 300 people had been killed.

Earlier Saturday, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps admitted it mistakenly shot down the Ukrainian International Airline flight earlier this week.

The downing of the UIA jetliner, a Boeing 737, happened just hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers in response to last week's U.S. drone attack that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Iranian officials told the truth about the circumstances of the crash only after it became apparent that the evidence on the ground from the doomed flight would not allow the Iranians to continue to lie, according to the New York Times newspaper.

The plane crashed Wednesday, but Iran did not reveal that it had shot down the aircraft until Saturday.

A Ukrainian official told The New York Times that its experts had gathered information at the crash site "despite apparent Iranian efforts to complicate the investigation, including by sweeping debris into piles rather than carefully documenting it."

Ukraine says the Kyiv-bound doomed flight took off as usual with no word to the crew about the ballistic missile attack.

Oleksiy Danilov, the Ukrainian official heading the crash investigation, told The New York Times that the Iranians could no longer lie about the circumstances of the crash when "Ukrainian investigators found fragments of the top part of the airplane cabin that had been pierced by what appeared to be the shrapnel of a missile warhead."

LINK: https://www.voanews.com/middle-east/voa-news-iran/iran-braces-more-prote...

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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