BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:00 A.M.) – An annual pro-government rally was held in Tehran on Saturday following two days of rare anti-government protests across the country.

Saturday’s pro-government rallies were scheduled to be held in more than 1,200 cities and towns across Iran. The events have been held annually to commemorate the “9-Dey Epic” of December 30 2009.

On that day, a rally was held against the 2009 pro-reform “Green Movement” demonstrations.

It has been designated in the Iranian calendar as the “day of insight and nation’s allegiance to religious leadership.”

On Friday, police dispersed anti-government demonstrators in the western city of Kermanshah as protests spread to Tehran and several other cities in the largest wave of protests since 2009.

Police arrested 52 people following protests in Mashhad – one of the holiest places in Shia Islam – on Thursday.

The Revolutionary Guard, which cracked down on the Green Movement in 2009, said in a statement carried by state media that there were efforts to repeat the unrest before adding “the Iranian nation will not allow the country to be hurt.”

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