It's time for change in Iran, asserts Donald Trump
Washington: US President Donald Trump today said it is "time for change" in Iran which is "failing at every level", as the nationwide deadly protests against the government claimed 12 lives.
"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, Trump tweeted, attacking the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran.
"They are hungry for food and for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE! Trump said.
At least 12 people have been killed in the nationwide protests in Iran. The protests began on Thursday in Mashhad over economic issues and have since spread to several cities.
A day earlier, Trump had slammed the Iranian government for shutting down the Internet amidst country-wide protests.
"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!" Trump tweeted yesterday.
In a separate tweet, Trump said the US is watching "very closely" for human rights violations in Iran in the wake of the protests.
"Big protests in Iran. The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. The US is watching very closely for human rights violations!" he said.
Trump's statements were followed by a White House statement in support of the Iranian protesters.
"We support the right of the Iranian people to express themselves peacefully. Their voices deserve to be heard," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said yesterday.
"We encourage all parties to protect this fundamental right to peaceful expression and to avoid any actions that contribute to censorship," she said.
In a separate statement, the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the long-repressed Iranian people are now finding their voice.
"The Iranian government is being tested by its own citizens. We pray that freedom and human rights will carry the day," she said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called for calm urging people not to resort to violence.
"We are a free nation, and based on the Constitution and citizenship rights, people are completely free to express their criticism and even their protest," Rouhani was quoted as saying by the state-run PressTV.