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Trump tweets at Iranian government to support nationwide protests; slams sponsorship of terrorism

President Donald Trump (U.S. Army/Elizabeth Fraser)
December 31, 2017

On the fourth day of growing nationwide protests across Iran, U.S. President Trump put out more support for the protestors while warning and calling out the Iranian government and their support of terrorism in the middle east.

Trump’s latest tweet, after a number of tweets on Sunday supporting the protestors is in contrast to then President Barack Obama’s reaction to the 2009 Iranian pro-freedom protests where Obama reached out to Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei, enabling him and his President to suppress the uprising.

Trump tweeted Sunday, “Big protests in Iran. The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”

Fox News reports that estimates are that up to one million Iranians have been protesting across the country. A prominent Iranian opposition group says the protests have turned into a protest for regime change.

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The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) which is a coalition of pro-democratic groups told Fox News that President Trump’s tweets are encouraging to the protestors.

So far, two deaths are being reported but with limited ability for comprehensive coverage of the protests this number will most likely change.

Newsmax also reports,

“[We spoke with] Ali Safavi, an official with the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. He also reminded fellow Iranians that the Obama regime reacted quite differently during protests over disputed elections in 2009.

“When millions of Iranians poured onto the streets, demanding regime change in 2009, the Obama administration reached out to the Supreme Leader Khamenei, enabling him and his President to suppress the uprising,” Safavi told Newsmax, “President Trump’s expression of support for the Iranian people and his condemnation of the arrests of the protests send an encouraging signal to all those who want to see Iran liberated from the yoke of the medievalist mullahs.”

Safavi’s comment came shortly after the NCRI’s President Maryam Rajavi told reporters that “the ongoing protests in different cities against the regime reveal the explosive state of Iranian society and the people’s desire for regime change.

Mrs. Rajavi added that the “Iranian people demand the overthrow of the ruling religious dictatorship. It is their right to topple this repressive regime. And I emphasize: Regime change in Iran is within reach.

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Saturday, among other tweets, President Trump tweeted out two clips from his United Nations speech where he also spoke about Iran,

The anti-government rallies initially were protesting against a dramatic surge in prices of common grocery items like bread, eggs and meat but now have to spread to protesting the hardline, theocratic Islamic regime as a whole.

Scenes have been coming out Iran through social media while media global media coverage seems to be lacking.

Videos are emerging on Twitter just like in 2009.

The protests started Thursday in Iran’s second largest city, Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city and one of Iran’s holiest places, then spread.

 

The government has come out hard against the protestors by disabling some of the internet, by organizing 1,200 “pro-government” rallies on Saturday, arrests and police crackdowns including water canons and telling news agencies not to cover the anti-government protests.

AFP reported that “state news channel IRINN said it had been banned from covering the protests that spread from second city Mashhad on Thursday to hit several towns and cities.”

Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said, “We urge all those who receive these calls to protest not to participate in these illegal gatherings as they will create problems for themselves and other citizens.”

Other Iranian officials are blaming the democratic west as behind the protests but failed to produce any proof other than to create a boogeyman which the Iran government constantly does as part of their propaganda campaigns.

“The enemy wants once again to create a new plot and use social media and economic issues to foment a new sedition,” Ayatollah Mohsen Araki told a crowd in Tehran, according to the conservative Fars news agency and AFP.

Others are mocking the west’s political correctness,

These are the biggest waves of protests since the nationwide protests in 2009 that the world watched through Twitter.

“We believe that a country with serious problems in the areas of unemployment, inflation, corruption, environment, social distance, dehydration, unbalanced distribution of the funds offered [government money spent], and the people have the right to be heard by the high resolution.” wrote Hesam Ashena, cultural adviser to President Hassan Rouhani, on Twitter.

U.S. President Donald Trump has warned Iran that the “world is watching” in his own tweet saying “Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching! #IranProtests”

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi was quoted by Iranians state media as saying in response to U.S. President Trump: “The Iranian people see no value in the opportunistic claims by American officials and Mr. Trump.”

State broadcaster IRIB website also reportedly stated “Enemy websites and foreign media continue to try to exploit economic hardships and the legitimate demands of the people in this respect to launch illegal gatherings and possible unrest.”

The Revolutionary Guards which led the crackdown against protesters in 2009, said in a statement: “The Iranian nation … will not allow the country to be hurt.”

Openly political protests are rare in Iran where government security forces keep tight watch on its citizens.

The U.S. State Department put out a statement condemning the arrest of peaceful protestors:

We are following reports of multiple peaceful protests by Iranian citizens in cities across the country. 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. As President Trump has said, the longest-suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are Iran’s own people.

The United States strongly condemns the arrest of peaceful protesters. We urge all nations to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for basic rights and an end to corruption.

On June 14, 2017, Secretary Tillerson testified to Congress that he supports “those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of government. Those elements are there, certainly as we know.” The Secretary today repeats his deep support for the Iranian people.