Trump Vows New Support for Iranian People

Trump Vows New Support for Iranian People

The EU has also pushed Iran to guarantee the right to protest. But what can Washington do to aid the protesters and afflict the Iranian tyrant?

"The official line pursued by the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, who are our allies in many ways, is nearly one that would lead us to war", Macron told reporters.

That could be more unsafe for the authorities because they have regarded the less well-off as loyal to the Islamic republic, as opposed to the more middle class protesters who took to the streets nine years ago.

"Why should they arrest someone like me when I protest the rise of the price of eggs?" he said.

Protesters in Mashhad and other cities have expressed anger over poor economic conditions in Iran, including a recent spike in prices, despite the 2015 nuclear accord that ended major worldwide sanctions. The Iranian regime's response is anchored in three characteristics.

Pro-government rallies in Iran aim to counter a week's worth of anti-government demonstrations. The protests in Iran underscore a rising risk across the Persian Gulf: disgruntled populations are willing to sabotage oil facilities to make themselves heard. In some cases, protesters have attacked police stations and government buildings.

It was unclear how Iranians viewed Trump's comments, but many are wary of the USA president over his travel ban on Iranians and opposition to the 2015 nuclear deal that lifted worldwide sanctions in exchange for curbing Iran's nuclear program. The pro-government marches, broadcast by Iranian state media, had the hallmarks of previous state-organized gatherings, with crowds waving Iranians flags and holding placards with slogans backing Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Some demonstrators also held aloft pictures of President Donald Trump with a bright red "X" through his face.

The 2015 agreement, in which Iran curbed its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions, remains popular in Iran, but one of the central grievances of the protesters is that average Iranians have seen few benefits from it. "Oppressive regimes can not endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice".

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Acting out in ways that reconfirm the long standing hardliner story line that the United States will always be an enemy to Iran would be a mistake at this time.

Regardless of the immediate outcome, the United States is now on the side of the Iranian people.

"The current USA administration, despite its recent empty statements, has continuously insulted the great Iranian nation and displayed open hostility towards Iranian people", Khoshroo wrote, citing Trump's travel ban on Iranian citizens.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have tweeted their support for the protesters, but they have not called for violence or disruptive acts.

"The Iranian authorities must respect the rights of all demonstrators and detainees, including their right to life, and guarantee their safety and security", Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in a statement.

The officials said they believed conservative opponents of Iranian President Hassan Rowhani, a relative moderate within Iran's clerically overseen government, started the demonstrations in Mashhad, but quickly lost control of them. Rouhani's office did not mention the comment.

"Some people feel that friendship with the U.S. will improve the economic situation, but they should look at countries such as Egypt, which sacrificed everything it had for friendship with the United States", commander Jafari said.

The protests were fanned in part by messages sent on the Telegram messaging app, which authorities blocked on Sunday along with Instagram.

But online videos that emerged Wednesday appeared to show continued protests in the provinces. They spread to smaller and smaller towns and cities in the Iranian countryside, and peaceful protests also gave way to violent unrest in some places.

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