Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

President Rouhani accepts Iranians' right to protest, calls for peace

Protesters gather in Tehran as unrest spreads across Iran Image Protesters gather in Tehran as unrest spreads across Iran
Delia Stanley | 07 January, 2018, 01:49

The United States will "use all the information sources at our disposal to be able to get actionable information about who is doing the crackdown, who is violating human rights, who is using violence against protesters and to feed that in to our sanctions designation machinery", the official said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has hit back at Trump's comments, saying the USA leader - whose "whole being is against the nation of Iran - has "no right" to sympathise with protesters".

Pro-regime demonstrations denouncing the 2009 Green Movement leaders also may have provoked a political backlash.

The 2009 protests were also largely centered in Tehran, unlike this current round of protests which is stronger in provincial areas.

In a recent dramatic move, President Trump repeatedly tweeted his support for the actions of the Iranian people. Authorities also reacted with force to the current wave of demonstrations - at least 21 people had been killed and hundreds arrested as The World Weekly went to press- but so far have refrained from the type of mass crackdown seen nearly a decade ago. All those who are at odds with the Islamic Republic have utilized various means, including money, weapon, politics and intelligence apparatus, to create problems for the Islamic system, the Islamic Republic and the Islamic Revolution. Foreign leaders such as US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have praised the protests, but there is no evidence of direct interference.

Trump - advised by a clutch of former generals who spent a career fighting Iranian proxies - has taken a hard line against Iran since coming to office. Dual nationalities are not uncommon in Iran, so the arrest would hardly be proof of meddling by foreign powers.

Moderates and reformers led by Rouhani have said people have the right to peacefully protest against economic woes and the government should be open to criticism. Discontent was brewing beneath the surface for a while.

It's entirely appropriate for President Trump to offer support for peaceful protesters in Iran and to demand that the government there respond with restraint.

Iran's unemployment rate reached a three-year high of 12.7% in the second quarter of 2016, according to the World Bank.

IRANIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS GHOLAMALI KHOSHROO, in a letter to the U.N. secretary-general: "Against the backdrop of continuous attempts by previous US administrations to disrupt the course of normal political, social and cultural life in Iran in the past decades, starting with the coup against Iran's democratically elected prime minister in 1953, the current USA administration has crossed every limit in flouting rules and principles of worldwide law governing the civilized conduct of global relations".

The protests began last week over economic concerns, reports say, but have shifted toward anti-government demonstrations focused on Iran's clerical rulers.

Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, used her public platform to recite protesters' slogans and declared that "the people of Iran are crying out for freedom". Specifically, he added, Mr. Rouhani could submit a package of major reforms to Parliament, which include "constitutional amendments to empower elected institutions".

"That requires information, but there is a lot of information out there, so we intend to start assembling that and see what we can do", the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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