Tags: Iran | Iraq | mcconnell | iraq | lebanon | iran | protests

McConnell: US Must Stand With Protesters in Iraq, Lebanon

Anti-government protesters in Iraq
Anti-government protesters in Iraq (Hadi Mizban/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 31 October 2019 01:30 PM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday that the Trump administration should oppose violent efforts to end anti-government protests in Lebanon and Iraq and should work with leaders "who are committed to doing right by their people."

"The administration should use the tools at its disposal to expose corruption and foreign interference in these nations, impose consequences for violent crackdowns on peaceful protests, and work with the Lebanese and Iraqi leaders who are committed to doing right by their people," McConnell said on the Senate floor.

Iraq and Lebanon have been gripped by anti-government demonstrations — and more than 240 Iraqis have been killed this month as security forces cracked down on a growing protest movement.

An Iraqi soldier was killed Wednesday after two rockets were fired into Baghdad's fortified Green Zone area, security officials said. The zone is home to several Western embassies and government offices.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah supporters attacked the main protest camp in Beirut on Tuesday.

Shortly thereafter, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a Western-backed leader who had reluctantly partnered with the pro-Iran factions in a national unity government, resigned.

Iran backs the governments of Iraq and Lebanon.

In his remarks Thursday, McConnell noted Tehran's role in suppressing the demonstrations in those countries.

"Unsurprisingly, the Iranian regime is reportedly involved in violently suppressing peaceful protests in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and of course Iran itself," the majority leader said. "The mullahs are showing the same fear as the Chinese Communist Party.

"They're afraid of citizens demanding reform and speaking up for basic freedoms," McConnell continued. "The United States should stand with these protesters."

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday that the Trump administration should oppose violent efforts to end anti-government protests in Lebanon and Iraq.
mcconnell, iraq, lebanon, iran, protests
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2019-30-31
Thursday, 31 October 2019 01:30 PM
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