"Speaking on the ground of the precise figures provided by the relevant agencies, [I can say that] not more than 42,000 people have participated in the protests and it was not too much," Fazli said, as quoted by the ISNA news agency, adding that protests similar to the Iranian ones take place in all the countries across the globe.
The rallies have been raging across Iran since December 28, with several large Iranian cities engulfed in protests against the worsening economic conditions in the country, high fuel and food prices, unemployment, inflation and air pollution. As a result of the social unrest, at least 20 people have reportedly been killed, and 450 people have been detained.
Tehran has stated that the people of Iran have the "constitutional right" to protest peacefully over economic and social problems, but also said that forces supported from abroad, including from the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, were involved in the protests, aiming to destabilize the country.
On Tuesday, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said that the riot of the year "has failed." According to commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the number of protesters was small and did not exceed 15,000 across the country.