Iran protests: Donald Trump says ‘time for change’ as he backs dissidents | World | News


The US President tweeted: “The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. 

“Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!”

It is the latest blow in a furious war of words between the American and Iranian presidents amid the furious anti-government demonstrations.

10 people were killed overnight between December 31 – January 1 in the angry protests, while a further two died earlier in the week.

Up to 400 people have been arrested in a police crackdown on protesters, including 200 in capital city Tehran.

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, warned dissidents against disturbing the peace on Sunday, while police dispersed crowds with tear gas and water cannon overnight.

Mr Rouhani and Mr Trump have landed verbal blows over the protests in recent days.

The Iranian president has said Mr Trump has “no right” to express support for his country after a string of anti-Iran tirades throughout his presidency, while the US president has called for political change.

Mr Trump first took to his favourite social media to discuss the mass demonstrations on Friday, commenting “the world is watching”.

He also said that: “The good people of Iran want change, and, other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran’s people are what their leaders fear the most.”

While on New Year’s Eve, he noted: “The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer.”

However his comments were not welcomed by Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.

President Rouhani responded to Mr Trump’s New Year’s Eve comments with the retort: “This man in America who is sympathising 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 sympathise with Iranians.”

The demonstrations are the biggest show of dissent in Iran since the mass protests of the Green Movement were brutally suppressed in 2009.

Then, at least 30 people were killed and thousands arrested during a wave of protests against the disputed reelection of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Today, demonstrators say they are angry about corruption and economic hardship.

Although Iran is a major oil producer and a key centre of power in the Middle East, youth unemployment reached 28.8 percent last year.

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