U.S. on New Wave of Protests

January 13, 2020

President Trump and his administration have issued words of encouragement to demonstrators in Iran. Iranians launched a new wave of protests on January 11 after Iran admitted that the Revolutionary Guards had mistakenly shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. Iranians were enraged at the government’s incompetence and for denying responsibility for three days. Trump, in tweets both in English and Persian, said Washington stood with the Iranian people. He also warned Tehran against using violence to quash the gatherings. The following are statements by U.S. officials on the new protests. 

 

President Donald Trump 

Trump

January 11 tweets

To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I've stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage.

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

January 12 tweets

National Security Adviser suggested today that sanctions & protests have Iran “choked off”, will force them to negotiate. Actually, I couldn’t care less if they negotiate. Will be totally up to them but, no nuclear weapons and “don’t kill your protesters.”

To the leaders of Iran - DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!

January 13 tweet

Wow! The wonderful Iranian protesters refused to step on, or in any way denigrate, our Great American Flag. It was put on the street in order for them to trample it, and they walked around it instead. Big progress!
 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo 

 

"The Iranian regime and its proxies under the direct supervision of Qasem Soleimani have nurtured all of that misery.  It’s why thousands of Iraqis took to the streets to celebrate when they heard Soleimani was dead.  Many more would have undoubtedly joined them, but for the fear that the remaining Iranian-backed thugs, many of which were at the gates of the American embassy in the days before, would have beaten them or jailed them or killed them.

Right now – you can see it – the Iranian people are in the streets.  They are likewise there in astounding numbers in spite of enormous personal risk to themselves.  They are burning posters and billboards with Soleimani’s face on them and chanting, “Soleimani is a murderer.”  They know he was one of the key architects of their oppression.  And the United States is with them in their calls for freedom and justice, in their justified anger at the ayatollah and his minions and what they have destroyed inside of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  I want to repeat President Trump’s insistence that Iran not harm a single protestor.  I hope everyone will do the same.  We’ve called on our allies across the world and the region to repeat this to them."

-Jan. 13, 2020 in a speech at the Hoover Institute

 

 

National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien 

“I think the regime is having a very bad week.” 

“This was a regime that’s reeling from maximum pressure, they’re reeling from their incompetence in this situation and the people of Iran are just fed up with it.” 

“The people of Iran are going to hopefully have the ability at some point to elect their own government and to be governed by the leaders they choose.” 

-Jan. 12, 2020 in an interview, according to The Washington Post 

 

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper 

“You can see the Iranian people are standing up and asserting their rights, their aspirations for a better government — a different regime.” 

-Jan. 12, 2020 in an interview, according to The Washington Post