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Trump supports the Iranian people's struggle

Trump supports the Iranian people's struggle

Iran is seeing some of its largest protests since the Green Movement that demanded the removal of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009. Below is a timeline of the recent demonstrations.

President Rouhani, seen as a pragmatist who is at odds with hardliners, deflected criticisms of his economic record. Thousands decry Iran's economic hardships, high unemployment and inflation, and alleged corruption of officials.

President Donald Trump begins a series of tweets about the protests: "Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime's corruption & its squandering of the nation's wealth to fund terrorism overseas".

Rouhani insists people are "absolutely free" to express their anger but "criticism is different to violence and destroying public property".

The Washington Post's neoconservative blogger Jennifer Rubin featured a call by former ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman to "make clear that the whole world is watching" and impose "cold war" style "targeted sanctions". But this time it was the government that had orchestrated the counter-demonstrations, which many employees were required to attend.

Reports emerge that authorities in Iran have shut off the internet in some parts of the country.

Mr. Trump's United Nations envoy, Ambassador Nikki Haley, has called for an emergency Security Council meeting on Iran, saying the United Nations needed to speak out in support of the protesters. Their voices deserve to be heard. "We encourage all parties to protect this fundamental right to peaceful expression and to avoid any actions that contribute to censorship".

Haley rejected as "complete nonsense" Khamenei's charges that the protests were being fomented by Iran's "enemies". That is a particularly unsafe challenge under the Iranian political system, in which the supreme leader is considered almost sacred, the official representative of God on earth.

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The EU urged Iran to refrain from any violent crackdown on protesters and condemned the deaths of more than 20 demonstrators in recent days as "unacceptable".

The officials said they believed conservative opponents of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate within Iran's clerically overseen government, started the demonstrations in Mashhad, but quickly lost control of them. "The rich now heedlessly flaunt their wealth", emphasizing the economic divide.

On January 2, 2018, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed the current unrest in Iran on foreign "enemies".

"We all know that's complete nonsense", said Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations. "In the days ahead, we will be calling for an emergency session, both here in NY and at the Human Rights Council in Geneva". The sanctions would be in response to any human-rights violations. That appeared to be a reference to President Donald Trump who tweeted in support of anti-government rallies.

In August 2016, the Obama administration acknowledged paying $1.3 billion to Iran for interest on a payment Iran made to the United States in the 1970s for military equipment that the US never delivered.

As unrest spread across Iran, mainly in smaller cities and towns, protesters said they were exhausted of official anti-Western rhetoric and it was time for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the government of President Hassan Rouhani to quit.

In the latest protests, which generally occur after nightfall, social media video showed demonstrators in Khorramabad in south-western Iran throwing stones at riot police, who were retreating. "You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!" At least 450 have been arrested in protests that have spread from Tehran to cities throughout the Muslim nation, the semi-official ILNA news agency reported.

President Trump's tweets on the ongoing Iran protests were immediate, have been daily and are likely to grow and transform into real change for Iranians. "Unfortunately, many of our European partners, as well as the United Nations, have thus far failed to forcefully speak out on the growing crisis in Iran. It's important that we stand in solidarity with them and try to provide them whatever support we can".

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