Iranian shopkeepers launched a new round of protests on Sunday to challenge the oppressive leadership of the regime and call attention to the country’s troubled economy to call attention to the country’s troubled economy, and the United States government has spoken out.
The United States is sympathetic to the plight of the Iranian people, who have been the longest suffering victims of their government,” a National Security Council spokesperson told THE WEEKLY STANDARD when asked about the latest wave of anti-government protests in Iran. “The protesters are expressing their discontent with the corruption of their government, the lack of economic opportunity, and a desire for greater freedoms. Instead of fulfilling its promises to bring prosperity to Iranian citizens, the Iranian government has exported conflict and unrest in the region.
The spokesperson concluded, “We condemn any use of violence by the Iranian regime to suppress peaceful citizens protesting and expressing their views.”
For the last six months, protests have swept back and forth across Iran. After a slow start, the Trump administration came out with a strong statement of support for the protesters in late December 2017, and the president himself tweeted six separate statements in the space of a week in late December and early January. More recently there have been only a few official statements on the record directly addressing the ongoing demonstrations.
Earlier this week, the State Department referred questions about the protests to a conference call hosted by the agency about sanctions on Iran, but the protests were only mentioned in passing. However, Secretary of State Pompeo also issued this statement on Wednesday:
The Iranian government is squandering its citizens’ resources, whether its adventurism in Syria, its support for Hizbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis, or its ambitions for wastefully expanding its nuclear program, it will only add to the suffering of the people of Iran. As I have said before, it should surprise no one that protests continue in Iran. The Iranian people are demanding their leaders share the country’s wealth and respond to their legitimate needs. We condemn the government’s same futile tactics of suppression, imprisonment of protestors, and the denial of Iranians’ frustrations. The people of Iran are tired of the corruption, injustice, and incompetence from their leaders. The world hears their voice.
The strongest statement came Tuesday from Senator Tom Cotton, a long-time harsh critic of the leadership in Iran:
Hassan Rouhani can blame ‘foreign propaganda’ until he’s blue in the face, but the waves of protests filling the streets speak for themselves: The Iranian regime is hopelessly corrupt, and it is robbing the Iranian people blind to fund its terrorist escapades. The people are now speaking out, and the United States stands with them-as should our European allies.
The State Department and the National Security Council did not respond to questions about whether or not President Trump himself would again personally address the protests or express support for the protesters, nor did either respond to inquiries about the president’s position on regime change in Iran.
Source » weeklystandard