Iran: Trump's Tweets Are Inciting Protests

Desiree Steele
January 7, 2018

Earlier on Saturday, hard-liners rallied across the country to support Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and others. All those who are at odds with the Islamic Republic have utilized various means, including money, weapon, politics and intelligence apparatus, to create problems for the Islamic system, the Islamic Republic and the Islamic Revolution. "The enemy is always looking for an opportunity and any crevice to infiltrate and strike the Iranian nation".

A top Russian diplomat warned the United States not to meddle in Iran's affairs and suggested that Washington wants to use the unrest to undermine the Iran nuclear agreement.

President Hassan Rouhani also called French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday to urge him to stop hosting the "terrorist" MEK, which Rouhani accused of inciting violence. Iran's government also organized two days of mass demonstrations across the country Wednesday and Thursday as a sign of strength and to reassure those anxious about the unrest.

It's entirely appropriate for President Trump to offer support for peaceful protesters in Iran and to demand that the government there respond with restraint.

Trump is right that simmering resentment over the costs of Iran's aggressive foreign policy have led protesters to call for more spending at home and less on support of radical groups overseas.

"The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime", Trump tweeted, a day after calling for regime change in the Islamic republic.

Not least among the Obama-era policies that Trump has targeted is a 2015 deal that gave Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

USA secondary sanctions and threats to pull out of the nuclear deal despite Tehran's compliance have contributed to Iran not fully benefiting from the nuclear deal.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi slammed on Tuesday the US president for his rude comments, saying he should address his own country's problems instead of interfering in other countries.

When asked how tougher USA sanctions would affect a wave of anti-government protests in Iran, Pence said present penalties against the Islamist regime were emboldening the people with courage to step forward.

What are the protests about? .

Thousands have already taken to the streets of cities across Iran, beginning at first on Thursday in Mashhad, the country's second-largest city and a holy site for Shiite pilgrims. Authorities also reacted with force to the current wave of demonstrations - at least 21 people had been killed and hundreds arrested as The World Weekly went to press- but so far have refrained from the type of mass crackdown seen nearly a decade ago.

Analysts have suggested hardliners in Mashhad organized the protests against their rival Rouhani, but that the protests then unexpectedly spread into a backlash against the entire regime.

Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaghari said 90 percent of the detainees were under 25, making them too young to have participated in the 2009 Green Movement.

Iranians do vote in elections for president and parliament, but unelected cleric-led bodies vet would-be candidates and bar from running those they don't approve of.

The rallies, scheduled weeks earlier, commemorated a mass 2009 pro-government rally challenging those who rejected the re-election of hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad amid fraud allegations.

Numerous protest chants are calling for the downfall of the entire Islamic regime, unlike the 2009 protesters who sought to strengthen reformists and work within the system.

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