Tehran Exploits U.S. Unrest

Iranian leaders exploited U.S. unrest over the death of George Floyd—an African American killed in police custody in Minneapolis—to criticize the U.S. government. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the U.S. government of racism against African Americans. “If you're dark-skinned walking in the U.S., you can't be sure you'll be alive in the next few minutes. #ICantBreathe #BlackLivesMatter,” Khamenei tweeted. “Racial discrimination is still a dilemma in a country that claims to support freedom and human rights #Black_Lives_Matter.”

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also condemned police brutality in the United States. “The 'knee-on-neck' technique is nothing new: Same cabal—who've admitted to habitually 'lie, cheat, steal'—have been employing it on 80 million Iranians for two years, calling it 'maximum pressure,” Zarif tweeted.

On June 8, members of parliament chanted "Death to America" to stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protestors. 

Iran’s state-influenced media has provided breathless holier-than-thou coverage of America’s unrest in banner headlines and prominent front-page pictures. “U.S. on Fire, in Blood,” Khorasan reported. “U.S. in Chaos,” decreed Sazandegi. “The U.S. Can’t Breathe,” declared hardline Kayhan newspaper, which is close to the supreme leader. Javan headline reported, “Trump to American People: I’ll Counter You with Wild Dogs.” “Civil War May Break Out in U.S.,” bannered Aftab-e Yazd Newspaper. Its lead editorial was titled, “White Knees on Black Necks.” The following are statements by Iranian officials and headlines from Iranian newspapers.

 

Officials

 

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

 

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

 

Statement by 240 Parliament Members

“Once again US police racial terrorism against the defenseless black draw the curtain from the inhumane nature of the United States' regime. George Floyd was only one of hundreds of African-Americans brutally killed every year by U.S. police.”

“The blacks have been unable to breathe for decades under U.S. racial terrorism.”

“The terrorist president of America threatening to kill the protesters indicates that the people of other countries are not the only victims of US state terrorism, but the American people are in fact the first victims of this state terrorism.”

- June 2, 2020, in a statement by lawmakers

 

Foreign Ministry

 

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi

“We have been witnessing cruelty and discrimination against a part of American society since the time of slavery. They are shouting against oppression and the world is hearing it."

- June 9, 2020, in an interview with ISNA 

 

Ayatollah Amoli Larijani, Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council

"The Americans have for years lectured other countries on human rights … and now it has been revealed for the whole world  that (the issue of) human rights for the U.S. is nothing but a means (to achieve its objectives)."

- June 11, 2020, at a session of the Expediency Council in Tehran

 

Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi

"The United States violates human rights in areas of racism, terrorism and countries’ sovereignty, and this violation of human rights is systematic and institutionalized."

"They [the U.S. officials] talk about economic relations, but they seek to loot. They talk about human rights, but their behavior runs contrary to this slogan.”

- June 11, 2020, at a meeting of the Coordination Council for Islamic Propagation

 

 

Media

 

May 30

 

Kayhan Newspaper:

  • U.S. in Chaos: Trump Orders Forces to Shoot

Kayhan

 

Jomhouri Eslami Newspaper:

  • Black Americans Rise against Trump in Several States

  • Trump Urges Police to Shoot at Protesters

Jomhouri 

 

May 31

 

Khorasan Newspaper:

  • U.S. on Fire, in Blood

Khorasan 

 

Aftab-e Yazd Newspaper:

  • Civil War May Break Out in U.S.: Analyst

  • White Knees on Black Necks [Editorial]

aftab

 

Ebtekar Newspaper:

  • Trump in Crisis: COVID-19, Conflict with China, Protests over Killing of Black Man

ebtekar 

 

Ettela’at Newspaper:

  • Protests Spread to Entire America

  • Curfew Announced in Several States

Ettelaat

 

Iran Newspaper:

  • Outrage over Racism

Iran

 

Javan Newspaper:

  • Trump to American People: I’ll Counter You with Wild Dogs

javan

 

Kayhan Newspaper:

  • U.S. Can’t Breathe: White House Knocked Down

Kayhan 

 

Sazandegi Newspaper:

  • U.S. in Chaos

Sazandegi

 

June 1

 

Afkar Newspaper:

  • Faced with Protests, Foundations of U.S. Fake Democracy Shake: Iran Cmdr.

Afkar

 

Jomhouri Eslami Newspaper:

  • Anti-Racism Riots Rage on in U.S.

Jomhouri

 

Vatan-e Emrooz Newspaper:

  • U.S. Army Comes to Streets as Anti-Racism Protests Rage on: Curfew in 16 States

Vatan-e Emrooz Newspaper

 

June 2

 

Etemad Newspaper:

  • Protests against Racism in 80 U.S. Cities

Etemad

 

Javan Newspaper:

  • Night of Conquering White House

javan

 

Kayhan Newspaper:

  • Imam Khomeini: U.S. Nation Will Awaken Gradually

  • Hot Summer of U.S.: Protests Spread to 140 Cities

Kayhan 

 

Mardom Salari Newspaper:

  • Disagreement in White House over Suppression of Protesters

Mardom 

 

June 6

 

Iran Newspaper:

  • Protest in Street, Conflict in White House: Rouhani’s Reaction to Floyd’s Death

newspaper

 

Javan Newspaper:

  • U.S. Supporters Embarrassed: Iran Leader

  • Trump Begs Iran for Negotiation amid Protests

Javan

 

Jomhouri Eslami Newspaper:

  • Million-Strong Protests in U.S. against Widespread Racism

newspaper

 

Vatan-e Emrooz Newspaper:

  • America vs America: Anti-Racism Protests Rage on in 450 Cities

newspaper

 

June 7

 

Javan Newspaper:

  • Global Uproar against Western Racism

  • London, Paris, Greece, Netherlands, Australia, Japan, South Korea Join Anti-Racism Protests

newspaper

 

Kayhan Newspaper:

  • Protests against Racist U.S. Government Rage on from Heart of U.S. to Asia, Africa

Kayhan  

 

Mardom Salari Newspaper:

  • American Generals Protest Trump: U.S. Military Men Outraged by U.S. President’s Threat

newspaper

 

June 8

 

Donya-ye Eqtesad Newspaper:

  • Biggest Protest Rally in Front of White House

newspaper 

 

Ettela’at Newspaper:

  • Anti-Racism Protests Spread to 650 U.S. Cities

newspaper 

 

Kayhan Newspaper:

  • U.S. Seized by Protesters: Trump Regime on Verge of Collapse

Kayhan

 

June 9

 

Javan Newspaper:

  • Riot against West’s Modern Slavery

newspaper 

 

Kayhan Newspaper:

  • Situation in U.S. Out of Control of Officials

newspaper 

 

Updated