FILE: The Iranian regime has tens of thousands of hardline supporters that it can turn out on the streets for a show of strength when protests threaten - ATTA KENARE / AFP
CAIRO – 31 December 2017: U.S. President Donald Trump and several U.S. officials commented on the street protests taking place in Iran, one of America’s ardent rivals.
Trump tweeted video portions of his speech in the United Nations General Assembly in September on Saturday, referring to the street protests hitting Iran for the third day in a row.
“The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change, and other than the vast military power of the United States, Iran’s people are what the Irani leaders fear the most,” Trump said.
In a separate tweet, Trump said; “Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice. The world is watching!” Trump said.
On Friday, Iranian police dispersed anti-government protesters in the western city of Kermanshah, the Farsi semi-official news agency said, as protests spread to Tehran and apparently several other cities a day after rallies in the northeast. The outbreak of regional unrest reflects growing discontent over rising prices and alleged corruption.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Sunday that he stands with protestors in Iran who are speaking out for freedom. “The time has come for the regime in Tehran to end terrorist activities, corruption, and their disregard for human rights,” Pence added.
The Republican Senator from Arizona John McCain said, “For too long, the Iranian people have been oppressed by their government, which cares more about sowing instability abroad than its own citizens.”
Congressman Ron DeSantis, the local representative for Florida's sixth congressional district said that Iran's Islamist regime has ruined the country's economy, supported terrorists, and denied basic rights to its people.
“The U.S. and the rest of the free world should support the Iranian people who are protesting the Khamenei dictatorship. This is a noble cause,” DeSantis added.
On the other hand, Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party's nominee for Vice President of the United States attacked Trump on speaking about human rights in Iran.
“For Trump, demonstrations are fine in Iran but illegitimate in the U.S.,” Baraka stated. “I mean look, no one in the world takes statements on human rights from the U.S. seriously,” he added.
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran rose since October over Iran’s ballistic missile program that the U.S. considers a violation of the international law.
Threatening Trump’s administration, Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC), said in October, “If the U.S. imposes more sanctions on Iran, chances for a future mutual discussion would end, and America then will have to move their regional bases outside the 1,250 kilometer range of the IRGC’s missiles.”
On November 1, the CIA released thousands of documents that it found in the raid on the founder and head of the Al-Qaeda Islamist group Osama bin Laden’s compound in 2011, according to USA Today. Apparently, an Al-Qaeda senior operative wrote various documents, describing the relations between Iran and the U.S.
“Those two enemies, The U.S. and Iran, each is willing to support the enemies of the other. America would support any individual or group even if small that wants to strike Iran,” said one of the documents dated 1428 A.H. (2008).
On November 4, thousands of Iranians gathered to celebrate the 38th anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover on Saturday. The celebration was at the site of the former embassy in Tehran.
Demonstrators burnt an American flag and an effigy of U.S. President Donald Trump, marking the day when dozens of Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in 1979 and took 52 Americans as hostages for 444 days.
In a televised speech in November, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the U.S. “Iran’s number one enemy.”