TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran said Monday measures were being taken to offset American interference in the recent unrest in the wake of countrywide gas price hikes. The decision was part of Iran’s belt-tightening in the face of US sanctions which have hit ordinary Iranians the hardest. While American officials said they supported the protesters, […]
TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran said Monday measures were being taken to offset American interference in the recent unrest in the wake of countrywide gas price hikes.
The decision was part of Iran’s belt-tightening in the face of US sanctions which have hit ordinary Iranians the hardest. While American officials said they supported the protesters, they imposed fresh sanctions on Iran last week.
“We think these statements and interventions are made not out of friendship and goodwill with the Iranian people, but aim to stoke tensions,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi told reporters in Tehran, Press TV reported.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted: “As I said to the people of Iran almost a year and a half ago: The United States is with you.”
Pompeo was referring to the time when he curiously said Washington’s tough sanctions were aimed at giving the Iranian people a chance to have better lives.
Pompeo had earlier told BBC Persian that Iranian officials must listen to Washington “if they want their people to eat.”
On Sunday, Mousavi denounced Pompeo’s new tweet. “Iran’s noble nation knows well that such hypocritical statements are completely void of sincere sympathy,” the spokesman said.
Iran has been trying to take the sanctions in its stride, working through a raft of measures to ease the suffering of the needy.
The Iranian government this month raised gasoline prices which still remain the cheapest in the world. The decision triggered peaceful protests which turned ugly when “saboteurs” went on a violent rampage, torching banks and gas stations, while assailants targeted police and security forces.
Mousavi said Monday, “We recognize the right to peaceful assembly. In recent years, similar incidents have happened where people had certain grievances and were able to express them.”
“However, more unsavory than the recent events was the meddling of foreign countries which we condemn, because Iran regards protests as the right of the people and this is stipulated in the Constitution,” he added.
Mousavi said Iran makes a distinction between peaceful protesters and armed groups which have taken advantage of the situation to cause mayhem.
Most countries involved in the unrest did so willingly, for which they should accept responsibility, he said, adding terrorist groups also engaged in certain acts which the judiciary and security agencies are investigating.
Mousavi also took aim at Pompeo asking Iranian protesters to send the US any photos or videos of violent protests, with a pledge to use the evidence as the basis for new sanctions.
“I am surprised by certain countries whose foreign secretary and foreign policy spokesman has come to such a low as to ask for videos and pictures from riots and arson,” he said.
Pompeo made the request on Thursday night on Twitter, in both Farsi and English, directing protesters to a “secure messaging service” to send any documentation of protests.
Mousavi said rallies planned in Tehran on Monday would show the world who the “real” Iranians are.
“I recommend they (foreign countries) look at the marches held these days… to see who the real people in Iran are and what they are saying,” he said.
Mousavi explained that Iran recognizes free access to information as a right, and that the Internet shutdown during the riots was only meant to safeguard national security, adding that connectivity to the worldwide web was restored nationwide after recent unrest calms.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews