Amidst nationwide protests in Iran following the government’s decision to raise gas prices, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asserted that “the U.S. is monitoring the ongoing protests in Iran closely. We condemn strongly any acts of violence committed by this regime against the Iranian people and are deeply concerned by reports of several fatalities. We’ve been at that since the beginning of this administration”. “The Islamic Republic”, Pompeo added, “must cease violence against its own people and should immediately restore the ability of all Iranians to access a free and open Internet… The Iranian people will enjoy a better future when their government begins to respect basic human rights, abandons its revolutionary posture and its destabilising foreign policy in the region, and behaves simply like a normal nation”. Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, subsequently contended that “a regime [ie, the U.S.] that hinders the delivery of food and medicine to ordinary [Iranian] people — including the elderly and the patients — through economic terrorism [tactics] can never claim support for the Iranian people in such a disgraceful way”.
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