Iran slams Trump's support for anti-government protesters

Iran slams Trump's support for anti-government protesters
2 min read
30 December, 2017
Iran has criticised US President Donald Trump's support on Twitter for Iranian protesters following two days of demonstrations against the regime.
Bahram took aim at Trump in his response to criticism of the Iranian regime [Getty]

Iran has dismissed US President Donald Trump's support for demonstrations against the government's handling of its struggling economy as "cheap" and "interventionist".

Foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said in a statement on Saturday that  Trump's comments were an opportunistic attempt to stoke further tension.

"The Iranian people pay no heed to the opportunistic claims of American officials, ‎particularly President Trump," Qassemi said.

"Iran has provided democratic frameworks for legal support of ‎peoples civil demands, and it is totally possible to pursue such demands within the framework of law."

Qassemi went on to accuse the US of being responsible for human rights abuses in Palestine, Yemen and Bahrain and slammed Trump's so-called Muslim travel ban.

Trump on Friday condemned the arrest of protesters, telling Tehran that "the world is watching".

"Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime's corruption & its squandering of the nation's wealth to fund terrorism abroad," Trump tweeted.

"Iranian govt should respect their people's rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching! #IranProtests."

Trump has repeatedly taken aim at Iran, denouncing its government as a "fanatical regime".

He has accused it of violating an international agreement aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear programme, refusing to certify its compliance with the deal.

The Iranian government warned people against further protests on Saturday, after two days of demonstrations sparked by anger over an array of economic problems.

"We urge all those who receive these calls to protest not to participate in these illegal gatherings as they will create problems for themselves and other citizens," said Interior Minister Abdolrahman Rahmani Fazli.

State news channel IRINN said it had been banned from covering the protests that spread from second city Mashhad on Thursday to hit several towns and cities.

The protests initially targeted economic problems, but quickly turned against the regime as a whole.

Media coverage inside Iran focused almost exclusively on pro-regime rallies held on Saturday to mark the defeat of the last major protest movement in 2009, which hardliners call "the sedition".