Trump, Republican allies endorse Iranian protesters

By REUTERS
December 31, 2017 20:08
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WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers offered implicit support on Sunday to tens of thousands of Iranians protesting against the Islamic Republic's unelected clerical elite and Iranian foreign policy in the Middle East.

"Big protests in Iran," Trump said in a tweet from his private club in Palm Beach, Florida. "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. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!"

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said in a statement: "The Iranian government is being tested by its own citizens. We pray that freedom and human rights will carry the day."

The protests, which initially focused on economic hardships but now include anti-government messages, appeared to resume for a fourth day on Sunday despite Tehran's warnings of a crackdown and restrictions on messaging apps used by the demonstrators.

The protests are the biggest since unrest in 2009 that followed the disputed re-election of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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