On the ongoing violent protest in Iran, the United States president finally chimed in. President Donald Trump has condemned the “death and tragedy that the Iranian Regime is causing” while the European Union has called for restraint from the country’s authorities.
After the seventh day of deadly protests came to an end in Iran, Mr Trump finally tweeted about the unrest in the middle of a day of explosive impeachment hearings at the US Congress.
“Iran has become so unstable that the regime has shut down their entire Internet System so that the Great Iranian people cannot talk about the tremendous violence taking place within the country,” Mr Trump tweeted. “They want ZERO transparency, thinking the world will not find out the death and tragedy that the Iranian Regime is causing!”
Critics had been calling out the US president for not paying attention or caring about the protests in Iran that were ignited by a sudden hike in fuel prices last Thursday.
“President Trump’s tweet in support of the protests in Iran is utterly cynical,” Peyman Jafari, a historian of Iran at Princeton University, told The Independent. “The reality is that millions of Iranians are being crushed between a repressive state that has fostered corruption and inequality, and the American administration that has devastated their livelihoods with draconic sanctions.”
Mr Jafari argued that for instance, inflation has always been relatively high in Iran, but if you look at its trajectory in the last few years, “it started to crawl towards 50 per cent from May 2018” when Mr Trump announced the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.
The EU has expressed concerns about the high level of violence and called on Iran’s security forces to exercise maximum restraint and the protesters to demonstrate peacefully.
The EU’s statement also emphasised that the rights to freedom of expression and assembly must be guaranteed and urged Iranian authorities to ensure the free flow of information and access to the internet.
Amnesty International has reported that at least 106 people were killed in more than 20 cities across the country, and unconfirmed reports have put the death toll even higher.
Most areas in Tehran and some other major cities continue to be cut off from the internet and only a small number of government and private entities as well as state media and some journalists have access to the worldwide network.
It has been estimated that internet shut down cost $60m (£46m) per day in damages to the economy. (Source: Independent UK)