January 4, 2018 / 3:28 PM / a year ago

Erdogan says Rouhani told him Iran situation to stablise by weekend

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference with Tunisia's President Beji Caid Essebsi (not pictured) at Carthage Palace in Tunis, Tunisia, December 27, 2017. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

PARIS (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani assured him that the situation in Iran, where protests have left 21 people dead, will stabilise in a day or two.

Erdogan also said in the interview, broadcast on Thursday by the French televisions stations LCI and TF1, that foreigners were acting as provocateurs in Iran, echoing comments by Iranian leaders after a week of unrest in towns across the country.

“I talked with Mr Rouhani on the phone and ... the situation will stabilise within a day or two, there’s no need to be worried, that’s what they told me,” Erdogan said in comments dubbed into French, later adding that Rouhani had told him the situation “would be back to normal by the weekend”.

The protests erupted a week ago in Iran’s second city, Mashhad. While many protesters have been complaining about high youth unemployment, costly living standards and alleged corruption, some have also demanded a change of government or an end to clerical rule.

“Obviously some people from abroad are provoking this situation, and these provocations are not all right, this is an internal Iranian affair ... and people from abroad should not meddle in internal affairs,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan is due to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Friday, and said his relationship with his new French counterpart had got off to a good start.

Reporting by Michel Rose, Ingrid Melander; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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