A spokesperson for Iran’s foreign ministry has condemned Canada’s “interventionist” response to widespread demonstrations taking place in the country, the latest critique lobbed by Tehran against countries that have shown support for the protesters.

Canada’s “interventionist position” violates its international commitments and is “devoid of any legal justifications”, Bahram Qasemi said, according to Iran’s official state news agency, IRNA.

Widespread anti-government protests, the biggest show of dissent in Iran since 2009, broke out in several Iranian cities earlier this week.

While the demonstrations began as a response to rising living costs, unemployment and inequality, they have since taken on an anti-government message.

Several videos posted on social media showed protesters calling for the fall of Hassan Rouhani‘s government.

The Canadian ministry of foreign affairs released a short statement on Saturday, saying it was “closely monitoring” the protests and calling “on the Iranian authorities to uphold and respect democratic and human rights”.

“Canada is encouraged by the Iranian people who are exercising their basic right to protest peacefully,”  Global Affairs Canada said. “Canada will continue to support the fundamental rights of Iranians, including the right to freedom of expression.”

READ MORE: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/iran-hits-canada-criticism-protests-180101075504311.html