Updated Jan 13, 2020 - World

Iranian protesters call for Khamenei's resignation over plane crash

Anti-Riot policemen ride motorcycles along an avenue as Iranians gather

Anti-riot policemen ride motorcycles along an avenue as Iranians gather in front of a university to mark the memory of the victims of the Ukraine Boeing 737 passenger plane crash in Tehran. Photo: Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Iranian protesters have taken to the streets for a second day, calling for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's resignation after the government admitted to accidentally shooting down a Ukrainian passenger plane, killing all 176 people on board, Reuters reports.

The latest: Security forces used tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition to break up protests in Tehran on Sunday, per the New York Times, which notes demonstrations have spread to other cities across the country.

  • "They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here," protesters chanted outside a university in Tehran, Al Jazeera reports.

What they're saying: Gen. Hossein Salami, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, issued a rare public apology on state television for the downing of the plane, saying he wished he had "crashed and burned" on the jet, according to the NYT.

  • President Hassan Rouhani said in a statement Iran "deeply regrets this disastrous mistake" and those responsible for the incident would be prosecuted, per the state-run Fars news agency.

Zoom out: The growing anger surrounding the crash comes just weeks after the Iranian government reportedly killed citizens in an attempt to squash national protests, The Telegraph writes. Iran is facing pressure from both world leaders and people at home over the fatal crash.

The big picture: "The death of graduates from top universities migrating to Canada on the Ukrainian light has struck a nerve with protesters. Many protesters feel their future is ruined in a country facing high unemployment," CNN notes.

What he's saying: President Trump tweeted on Saturday, "To the brave and suffering Iranian people: I have stood with you since the beginning of my presidency and my government will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely. Your courage is inspiring."

Go deeper: What we know: Ukrainian Boeing 737 crashes in Tehran

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details on the latest protests.

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