Media reports indicate that groups have gathered in protest in parts of Tehran on Friday, January 3, following the attack against al-Quds force commander Qasem Suleimani in Baghdad (Iraq) earlier the same day. Protesters likely seek to voice opposition for the US attack amid escalating tensions between Iran and the United States.
Protests are likely to continue in Tehran and other urban centers across Iran over the coming days as a course of action is defined.
A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of the rally and associated gatherings.
The US Department of Defense released a statement on January 3, claiming responsibility for an airstrike targeting Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iran's Quds Force, near Baghdad International Airport (BGW). According to the statement, Soleimani was "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region." Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), was also killed in the strike along with six other individuals.
Individuals in Tehran, and Iran more generally, are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all large public gatherings as a precaution, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media.
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