TEHRAN, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of people in different Iranian cities held rallies on Wednesday to condemn anti-government protests over the past week.
Participants in the rallies supported the Iranian government and slammed rioters as the mercenaries of enemies or deceived individuals that sought to foment sedition by resorting to violence, according to Tasnim news agency.
The demonstrators also chanted anti-U.S. and anti-Israeli slogans in the rallies, reaffirming commitment to the Islamic Republic and pledging support for the country's security and stability.
According to unofficial reports, at least 20 people, including civilians and security policemen, were killed and dozens of others injured, as protests against the government's economic and social policies continued in major cities across Iran over the past few days.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday warned of what he called the enemies' all-out efforts, including inciting unrest, to harm the Islamic Republic.
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani also said certain countries are waging a "proxy war" against the Islamic Republic via social media and the internet.
The United States, Britain and Saudi Arabia are behind the recent riots in Iran, he said.