Closing 2017 with a series of tweets summarizing his administration’s achievements over the past year, US President Donald Trump bolstered his voiced support for protesters in Iran, saying that the government there is trying to throttle the demonstrations by cutting off communications.
In a tweet Sunday, Trump said: “Iran, the Number One State of Sponsored Terror with numerous violations of Human Rights occurring on an hourly basis, has now closed down the Internet so that peaceful demonstrators cannot communicate. Not good!”
Iran, the Number One State of Sponsored Terror with numerous violations of Human Rights occurring on an hourly basis, has now closed down the Internet so that peaceful demonstrators cannot communicate. Not good!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2017
The public discontent has been fanned by messages sent on the Telegram messaging app, which Iranian authorities blocked Sunday along with the photo-sharing app Instagram, which is owned by tech giant Facebook.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized Trump in comments published Sunday. He said that the US president “has forgotten that he had called Iranian people ‘terrorists’ a few months ago.”
The latest tweet follows a number of other messages of support from Trump expressing for the protesters.
Earlier Sunday, Trump encouraged the protesters in Iran, saying that the Iranian people were no longer prepared to see the country’s resources “squandered on terrorism” as mass protests continued.
“The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism,” Trump tweeted, saying that it looks like the Iranians “will not take it any longer.”
“The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!” he said.
Protesters in Tehran set fire to poster of the Ayatollah Khomeini! pic.twitter.com/eP0j0oSDVu
— 'GITMO' ???? BAMA (@President1Trump) December 31, 2017
A third night of unrest in Iran overnight Saturday saw mass demonstrations across the country in which two people were killed, dozens arrested and public buildings attacked.
After an initial silence, state media has begun showing footage of unrest, focusing on young men violently targeting banks and vehicles, an attack on a town hall in Tehran, and images of a man burning the Iranian flag.
“Those who damage public property, disrupt order and break the law must be responsible for their behaviour and pay the price,” Interior Minister Abdolrahman Rahmani Fazli said on state television.
“The spreading of violence, fear and terror will definitely be confronted,” he added.
Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli claimed foreign powers were mistaken in their assessments of the situation.
“The occupying Zionist regime, the reactionary regimes in the region and the US are gleefully projecting certain scenes in their faulty minds as if something were happening in Iran,” Fazli said according to a report from the semi-official Fars News Agency.
“Our enemies, especially those who have no standing in their countries and not been elected by people, have claimed to be backing our people and our people’s rights in the past few days,” Fazli declared, apparently referring to the Sunni monarchies in the region. “They have not recognized our people.”