Arrests in downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752

FILE Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

But the country came clean by the weekend, acknowledging "human error" caused the downing of the plane, which the government said was mistaken for a threat.

Iran shot down the plane as its forces were on alert for possible US retaliation after Iran launched ballistic missiles on two military bases housing USA troops in Iraq. The overall level of unrest is hard to assess because of restrictions on independent reporting.

Authorities denied that police had opened fire.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that "anyone who should be punished must be punished". US President Donald Trump had previously threatened to strike 52 targets within Iran if Tehran targeted US citizens or assets following Soleimani's killing.

The plane, with 176 people aboard, was mistakenly downed on Wednesday morning by the IRGC air defense system.

Tehran has faced an escalating confrontation with the West and a wave of unrest since the United States killed Iran's most powerful military commander in a drone strike on January 3. Two Canadian investigators were traveling to Tehran.

Several Iranian media outlets on Sunday joined a chorus of domestic and global criticism for both the shooting down of the airliner on Wednesday morning and the subsequent days of official denials that an Iranian missile was responsible. It was a move some considered an act of war, and the Iranian government vowed retaliation against the USA and was on high alert for another attack. "We should assure people that it will not happen again", he said, adding that his government was "accountable to Iranian and other nations who lost lives in the plane crash".

Leading Iranian film director Masoud Kimiai has pulled out of Tehran's annual Fajr Film Festival in protest, saying he was "on the side of the public". Wounded peopled were being carried and men who seemed to be security personnel ran as they gripped rifles.

Rabiei said all details provided by officials prior to Saturday's admission had been based on the information available to them at the time. Its authenticity could not be immediately verified.

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Other posts showed police in riot gear hitting protesters with batons on the street, the agency reported.

"They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here", said protesters outside a university in Tehran in another clip cited by Reuters.

But she said that the Canadian team would speak out if it had concerns about the transparency of the investigation or its findings.

The domestic unrest triggered by the plane crash comes just two months after the most violent crackdown on protests since the revolution. Superimposed over the image were the words, "Iran, stop police brutality against peaceful protestors". "The most important thing now is that tensions in the region calm down", he added.

Soleimani's killing led to days of mourning and public shows of solidarity with the authorities, but even that turned bloody, with at least 56 people trampled to death at his funeral.

The tensions are rooted in President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and to impose "maximum" economic sanctions.

In December, rockets fired at USA bases in Iraq killed a U.S. contractor.

Last month the United States president called him "two-faced" after Trudeau and other leaders were caught on video appearing to ridicule Trump at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit near London.

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