Trump tweets message of support to Iranian protesters: ‘Your courage is inspiring’

President Trump tweeted a message in support of Iranian protesters in Farsi Saturday, as demonstrators took to the streets to speak out against the government following the country’s admission that it inadvertently shot down a Kyiv-bound commercial plane.

Protesters flooded the streets in Tehran Saturday chanting “death to liars” and “death to the dictator” in reference to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to The New York Times, as citizens mourned the loss of those killed in the crash. 

“To the brave and suffering Iranian people: I have stood with you since the beginning of my presidency and my government will continue to stand with you,” Trump’s said. 

We are following your protests closely,” he added. “Your courage is inspiring.”

About 20 minutes later, Trump tweeted again, this time in English.

“The government of Iran must allow human rights groups to monitor and report facts from the ground on the ongoing protests by the Iranian people,” he said.

“There can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown. The world is watching.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a statement earlier in the day about the upheaval, tweeting: “The voice of the Iranian people is clear. They are fed up with the regime’s lies, corruption, ineptitude, and brutality of the IRGC under @khamenei_ir’s kleptocracy.”

Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 was shot down Wednesday shortly after leaving Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. All 176 people on board – including Ukrainians, Iranians and Canadians – were killed.
The plane crash came just hours after Iran launched a retaliatory missile strike on two Iraqi military bases that house U.S. troops. The attack was a response to President Trump’s authorization of an air strike last week that killed Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top military commander, in Baghdad.
In the days following the crash, Iran denied responsibility for the downing. However, footage released from various news outlets revealed that indeed, the aircraft appeared to be shot out of the sky. 

Iranian officials have characterized the incident as a mistake, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif described reasoning behind the crash as “human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism,” in a tweet.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani echoed the foreign minister’s sentiments stating, “The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake. My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families.”
This is isn’t the first time Trump has tweeted in Farsi when referencing Iran. Last February, he criticized Iran’s theocracy, saying “The regime in Iran has produced only #40YearsofFailure.”

Tags Ali Khamenei Donald Trump Hassan Rouhani Iraq Javad Zarif Mike Pompeo Qassem Soleimani Tehran U.S. U.S.-Iran relations
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