US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he supports the demonstrations in Iran and urged the world to watch the Iranian government’s violent effort to quash protests that he says have killed “thousands of people.” Trump said, “Iran is killing thousands and thousands of people right now as we speak.”
He added they were killed “for the mere fact that they’re protesting,” and he called it a “terrible thing.”
Trump was mum on what, if anything, the US could do in response to the violence, but he said, “I think the world has to be watching.”
Trump later in a tweet said: “The United States of America supports the brave people of Iran who are protesting for their FREEDOM. We have under the Trump Administration and always will!”
The US State Department also called on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to suspend the accounts of Iranian government leaders until Tehran re-establishes internet coverage throughout the riot-torn country. “It is a deeply hypocritical regime,” Brian Hook, special US representative for Iran, said in an interview. The government-imposed a near-total Internet blackout more than a week ago amid violent protests.
“It shuts down the internet while its government continues to use all of these social media accounts. So one of the things that we are calling on are social media companies like Facebook and Instagram and Twitter to shut down the accounts of Supreme Leader Khamenei, the Foreign Minister Zarif and President Rouhani until they restore the internet to their own people,” he said.
Amnesty International said on Monday it believes at least 208 people were killed in the protests and the crackdown that followed Iran’s economy has primarily been battered since the country has been locked in a standoff with the United States and its Gulf Arab allies since US President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 deal that gave it relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.
The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, whose board of trustees includes President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Etemad Tejarate Pars, a company that the Treasury Department said had sent money internationally on behalf of Iran’s defence ministry.
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