Tens of thousands of regime supporters marched in cities across Iran in a show of strength for the government after two days of angry protests directed against the country’s rulers.

State television showed huge crowds of black-clad supporters gathering in the capital Tehran, second city Mashhad and elsewhere to mark the anniversary of the end of “The sedition” — the last major unrest that followed disputed elections in 2009.

The pre-planned rallies came just after anti-government protests, which had spread from Mashhad on Thursday to numerous towns across the country.

Initially aimed against high prices, the anti-government protests quickly turned against the regime as a whole.

Large numbers reportedly turned out in Rasht, in the north, and Kermanshah, in the West, with smaller protests in Isfahan, Hamadan and elsewhere.

Police arrested several protesters from various cities including the capital, Tehran.

Iran’s Interior Minister has called on citizens to avoid what id called “illegal gatherings”