‘The US is with you’, Pompeo tells Iran protesters

‘The US is with you’, Pompeo tells Iran protesters
The US Secretary of State reissued a Persian-language message of support to people in Iran protesting against a hike in petrol prices.
2 min read
17 November, 2019
Mike Pompeo has always been quick to offer support for anti-government movements in Iran [Getty]
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has given the country’s first official show of support to the ongoing popular protests in Iran on Sunday, as the Islamic Republic's leader denounced "hooligans" on the streets.

“As I said to the people of Iran almost a year and a half ago: The United States is with you,” Pompeo tweeted, attaching a Persian-language tweet he had previously posted in July 2018 that referenced a speech he addressed to the Iranian people.

“After 40 years of tyranny, the proud Iranian people are not staying silent about their government’s abuses,” the original tweet said.

“We will not stay silent either. I have a message for the people of Iran: The United States hears you. The United States supports you. The United States is with you.”

Thousands of Iranians took to the streets on Saturday in opposition to surprise decision to impose petrol price hikes and rationing in the country hit by US sanctions.

One person was killed and others injured when people tried to set fire to a fuel depot but were thwarted by security forces.

The US gave enthusiastic support to anti-regime protests that broke out last year in the Islamic republic, with whom it has traded a very public war of words since the beginning of the Trump presidency.

Iran’s economy is suffering under severe economic sanctions imposed by President Trump since May 2018, when he pulled Washington out of the 2015 deal with world powers that imposed controls on Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of sanctions.

Washington denies it supports regime change in Iran, however often links popular Iranian discontent about economic woes to areas where the US has its own complaints, such as Iran's intervention in regional conflicts.

"The Iranian government is squandering its citizens' resources," Pompeo said in 2018, "whether its adventurism in Syria, its support for Hezbollah, 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."

Since wide-ranging sanctions were reimposed on Iran, the rial has plummeted, inflation is running at more than 40 percent and the International Monetary Fund expects Iran's economy to contract by nine percent this year and stagnate in 2020.

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