WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Monday that the Iranian people have been repressed for many years and that it is time for a change in the Middle Eastern country after several days of massive anti-government protests that have left at least 10 people dead and 200 under arrest.
“Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration. The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom,” Trump tweeted on Monday morning.
“Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!” he continued.
Trump has been active on Twitter for the past several days in commenting on the situation in Iran, whose authorities he accused on Sunday of “(closing) down the Internet so that peaceful demonstrators cannot communicate” with an eye toward quashing the protests after the Tehran regime completely cut off its citizens’ access to the social networks.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders emphasized that “There are many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with the regime’s corruption and its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad.”
“The Iranian government should respect their people’s rights, including their right to express themselves. The world is watching,” she continued.
According to state-run Iranian television, 10 people have died in the protests – which erupted last Thursday in the city of Mashad and have continued around the nation since then – and 200 have been arrested. An unknown number of people have been injured.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that the enemies of the Islamic Republic have not been able to tolerate the success achieved by the regime in the July 2015 nuclear deal with the G5+1 nations – the five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany – and against Israel in the region, and have encouraged the people to protest to get revenge on the government.