Protests break out in Iran after plane shot down

Protesters marching against the regime, chanting, “Shame on President Rouhani,” were hit with tear gas.
2:49 | 01/13/20

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Transcript for Protests break out in Iran after plane shot down
Now to new developments in Iran. President trump's own defense secretary appearing to contradict his claim about Iran targeting four American embassies under threat of attack saying he saw no specific evidence Iran was ready to strike and today protesters taking to the streets of Tehran today outraged over their country's military shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane by mistake. Police turning out in riot gear. Here's ABC's Stephanie Ramos. Reporter: Tonight, chaos in the streets of Tehran. Iranian security forces in riot gear cracking down on protestors marching against the regime. Thousands chanting "Shame on president rouhani." Protestors hit with tear gas. The tensions quickly rising. Anger erupting after Iran's stunning admission that they mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet killing all 176 on board. The government says they mistook the plane for a missile just hours after they attacked u.s.-backed bases as revenge for the killing of Iran's top general, qassem soleimani. In the days after soleimani was killed, Iranians were united with outrage against the U.S. Now, these protesters seen taking down posters of the slain military leader and on this street, marchers avoid walking on U.S. And Israeli flags painted on the pavement just days earlier so people could step on them in disrespect. Tonight president trump tweeting in farsi in support of the uprising saying, do not kill your protestors. The president still insisting the killing of soleimani stopped imminent threats including attacks at U.S. Embassies in the region. The president making the case on Fox News. Did they have large-scale attacks planned for other embassies, and if those were planned, why can't we reveal that to the American people? Wouldn't that help your case? I can reveal that I believe it would have been four embassies. It could have been a lot of other things too. Reporter: Secretary of defense mark Esper trying to clarify the president's remarks. Well, the president didn't say there was a tangible -- he didn't cite a specific piece of evidence what he said probably believed -- Then there wasn't one? I didn't see one with regard to four embassies. What I'm saying is I share the president's view that probably my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies. All right, Stephanie Ramos joins us now live on set and, Stephanie, I want to go back to that exchange we just saw right there. Defense secretary mark Esper was speaking and he was speaking about the alleged attacks that the president was talking about. Esper said he did not see that credible evidence. Esper confirmed he has not seen any evidence of a credible threat against four embassies and says the president only said he believes an attack was near. Esper says he agrees with that assessment. All right, Stephanie, thank you for that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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