TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iran’s lawmakers held a closed session on Sunday to exchange views about recent protests and riots in various cities of the country that led to the deaths of 20 people.

Speaking to the Press Shia News Agency, the representative of the western city of Ilam in the parliament, Jalal Mirzaei, said that the closed session was attended by Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alawi, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, Police Commander Brigadier General Hossein Ashtari, and President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Abdol Ali Aliasgari.

The parliamentarian added that during the meeting, the interior and intelligence ministers briefed the lawmakers on the recent unrest in the country.

In late December, peaceful protests over economic problems broke out in a number of Iranian cities, but the gatherings turned violent when groups of participants, some of them armed, vandalized public property and launched attacks on police stations and government buildings.

Security forces say many rioters arrested in the recent unrest have been trained by the MKO terrorists or had links with the Takfiri terrorist groups.

Following the unrest, people held several demonstrations across the country to condemn the violent riots and acts of vandalism, and voice support for the Islamic Republic’s Establishment.

Iranian officials maintain that people have the right to stage protests to express their opinions as long as rallies comply with the legal conditions.