On Sunday, the White House reacted to the growing protests within the Islamic Republic of Iran, by offering their vocal and unequivocal support for what is currently viewed as a pro-freedom movement.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “We support the right of the Iranian people to express themselves peacefully. Their voices deserve to be heard. We encourage all parties to protect this fundamental right to peaceful expression and to avoid any actions that contribute to censorship.”
The White House released this statement mere moments after current Iranian President Hasan Rouhani acknowledged the nationwide protests and the disruption that they are causing.
“People are absolutely free to criticize the government and protest but their protests should be in such a way as to improve the situation in the country and their life,” President Rouhani said to his cabinet, as per the reports citing the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) news agency. “Criticism is different from violence and damaging public properties.”
President Rouhani further targeted President Trump, for his comments that had come earlier, in which he had declared “the Iranian nation terrorists.”
“This man in America who is sympathizing today with our people has forgotten that he called the Iranian nation terrorists a few months ago. This man who is against the Iranian nation to his core has no right to sympathize with Iranians,” Iranian President said.
Reports from within Iran have confirmed that the government there has put a ban on all social media in the country, and cracking down on other forms of free expression in an attempt to smother the protest movement.
Masses of people, numbering in the tens of thousands have gathered to protest the Iranian leadership, and especially the economic destitution that the Islamic Republic has been facing. Iran – the heart of the historic Persian Empire – has long been a world leader in arts, culture, and been a regional economic power-house. However, under the rule of the Islamic Ayatollahs which began in the 1970’s the country has suffered repeated economic disasters and has lost ground.
“Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching! #IranProtests,” Trump had said in a tweet on Friday.