Secretary of State Mike Pompeo remarked that “the Iranian people are, once again, on the streets because of the regime’s poor economic management. And instead of addressing their grievances, Tehran has responded with violence and by blaming those outside of the country… I asked Iranians to share their messages with the U.S. so we could expose and sanction abuses of the Iranian regime. We have received to date nearly 20,000 messages, videos, pictures, notes of the regime’s abuses through Telegram messaging services”. “We will continue to sanction Iranian officials”, he added, “who are responsible for these human rights abuses, like we did last week to Iran’s minister of communications”. Pompeo went on to assert that “the Iranian regime also continues to export cruelty outside its own borders. Last week, an Iranian dissident, Massoud Malvi [sic], was assassinated in Istanbul after he defected to Turkey from Iran. The killing of Mr. Malvi [sic] is yet another tragic example in a long string of suspected Iran-backed assassination attempts outside of Iranian soil”. “To the courageous people of Iran who refuse to stay silent about 40 years of abuse by the ruling regime”, Pompeo stated, “I say simply this: the U.S. hears you. We support you and we will continue to stand with you in your struggle for a brighter future for your people and your great nation”. He also noted that “I’ve certainly seen the Iranians engage in activity that is fundamentally at odds with the central understandings we have here in America about how the press ought to be treated… what we’ve advocated for inside of the Islamic Republic of Iran is a change in the behaviour of the regime: Behave like a normal nation which permits its people to engage in commerce, to take care of their families, that would have normal press freedoms”.
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