Tags: Iran | Trump Administration | trump | iran | protesters

Trump: 'World is Watching' Iran's Actions on Protesters

Trump: 'World is Watching' Iran's Actions on Protesters
(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 30 December 2017 12:36 PM

President Donald Trump Saturday afternoon repeated his support of Iran's citizens protesting against their government, and once again reminded the Middle Eastern country's leaders that the "world is watching" them.

In a pair of tweets, accompanied by video segments from his speech before the United Nations earlier this year, Trump at first reiterated a statement made in his speech, that "The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change, and, other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran’s people are what their leaders fear the most...."

In the second tweet, Trump's comment to the UN that "oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice" was shown in a video clip and tweeted, followed by the warning that the "world is watching."

The Saturday afternoon tweets followed a Friday night Twitter message from the president, during which he said he supports the protesters:

Saturday morning, Iran's government, after slamming Trump's support messages, warned citizens against holding "illegal" public gatherings.

Trump's support tweets for protesters, a government spokesman said, were "deceitful and opportunist."

"The Iranian people see no value in the opportunistic remarks by American officials and Mr Trump," foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said on the government's official website.

Iranians remember Trump's call to ban them from entering the United States, Ghasemi said, while decrying the arrests "of many Iranians in that country on baseless pretexts."

The rare protests have spread to Iran's major cities, and have been described as the largest such display since the 2009 Green Movement, reports CNN, and are growing while prices of food, gasoline, and other necessities are soaring.

An official with the Ministry of Science told Iran's semi-official Iran Labor News Agency Saturday that three students were arrested while protesting outside Tehran University, CNN reported. Two have already been released, the official said.

The protests began on Thursday in Iran's northeastern city of Mashhad and spread to Tehran and at least five other major cities by Friday, according to First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri, cited by IRNA.

On Friday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement that the department "strongly condemns" the arrests of protesters in Iran, and commented that the department is monitoring the protests.

"Iran's leaders have turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos," she said. "As President Trump has said, the longest-suffering victims of Iran's leaders are Iran's own people."

Some of the Iranian protesters have been heard on videos chanting a call for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, reported CNN, but the network reported it was not able to independently authentically verify the origins of the footage.

Other videos show the protesters targeting Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, which rarely occurs.

Rouhani was elected by a landslide in May, during a campaign in which he touted the merits of a 2015 nuclear deal with the U.S. and other partners.

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Iran's government, after slamming President Donald Trump's tweeted support of protesting Iranian citizens, Saturday warned citizens against holding "illegal" public gatherings.
trump, iran, protesters
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2017-36-30
Saturday, 30 December 2017 12:36 PM
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