Trump says world ‘has to be watching’ the violence in Iran

Donald Trump disembarking from Air Force One after landing in the UK for the NATO summit. (AFP)
Updated 03 December 2019

Trump says world ‘has to be watching’ the violence in Iran

  • 'Iran is killing thousands and thousands of people right now as we speak'
  • Trump says US supports 'brave people of Iran' protesting for freedom

LONDON: President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he supports the demonstrations in Iran and urged the world to watch the Iranian government’s violent effort to quash protests that he says have killed “thousands of people.”
Speaking in London, where he is attending the NATO leaders summit, Trump said, “Iran is killing thousands and thousands of people right now as we speak.”
He added they were killed “for the mere fact that they’re protesting,” and he called it a “terrible thing.”
Trump was mum on what, if anything, the US could do in response to the violence, but he said, “I think the world has to be watching.”
Later, during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump said he misunderstood an earlier question when he said he did not support the Iranian protesters. Trump explained that he thought the question, during an earlier meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, pertained to financial support for the protesters. “We do support them totally,” Trump explained.

The president also sent out a tweet that said: “The United States of America supports the brave people of Iran who are protesting for their FREEDOM. We have under the Trump Administration and always will!“
Amnesty International said on Monday it believes at least 208 people were killed in the protests and the crackdown that followed. Iranian state television on Tuesday acknowledged for the first time that security forces shot and killed what it described as “rioters” in multiple cities amid recent protests over the spike in government-set gasoline prices.
The protests are viewed as a reflection of widespread economic discontent gripping the country since Trump reimposed nuclear sanctions on Iran last year.
Trump encouraged reporters “to get in there and see what’s going on,” noting that the Iranian government has curtailed Internet access to limit the spread of information about the violence.


Reza Pahlavi, son of Iran’s last shah, says regime is cracking from within

Updated 26 January 2020

Reza Pahlavi, son of Iran’s last shah, says regime is cracking from within

  • ahlavi strongly backed the US drone strike that killed the powerful Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani
  • "How long can it possibly be sustained?”

LONDON: The former crown prince of Iran says the regime is cracking from within under the pressure of a wave of fresh protests.

Reza Pahlavi, the son of the last shah, was just 17 when he fled into exile with his family during the 1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the monarchy.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, he said the demonstrations, which have included chants for the royal family to return, show that the current regime may be coming to an end.

“The cracking from within of the system is getting more and more obvious,” he said. “When you look at the circumstances in Iran today, put yourselves in the shoes of the worst-off — how long can it possibly be sustained?”

The protests intensified in November after an increase in fuel prices. Vast crowds demonstrated in cities across the country before the regime cut the internet and killed hundreds of people in a brutal crackdown.

Large numbers returned to the streets this month, angered by the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger jet by the Iranian military, and Tehran’s initial insistence that it was an accident.

“The protests are very pervasive, in many sectors of society,” Pahlavi, 59, said in Washington where he lives. “They are all over the country. And a new development we haven’t seen before: the so-called silent middle class, which until now were not taking positions, are beginning to speak out.

“I’m not saying this is a guaranteed collapse. But the ingredients that get us closer to that point seem to be more prevailing these days than ever before.”

Pahlavi said he no longer has any desire to return to the throne, despite once being a rallying point for opposition groups after his father died in 1980.

However, he said he believed there could be a new Iran after the fall of the clerical regime and that his role could be as a go-between for the Iranian diaspora, foreign governments and opposition groups inside Iran.

“To the extent that there is a name recognition, I can utilise that,” he said. “I have no ambition of any kind of role or function or title. I’d like to be an advocate for the people. I don’t let any of this go to my head, I’ve been around too long for that.”

Pahlavi strongly backed the US drone strike that killed the powerful Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani “as a breakthrough that is positive for the region.”

He also backs the punishing US sanctions introduced when Washington withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal.

He said he hopes one day to be able to return to his homeland.

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