Washington D.C. (January 3, 2018) -- Iran has seen a week of anti-government protests, in which more than 20 people have been killed and 450 arrested. The unrest began with small protests over economic issues in one city, but quickly expanded into mass protests across the country calling for political change.
When Iranians took to the streets in 2009, the Obama administration did not respond. President Trump and his administration, along with leading Republican legislators, are speaking out in support of the protesters this time. The RJC thanks President Trump for his leadership in supporting the Iranian people.
Here’s what they’re saying:
President Donald Trump
Twitter: Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice. The world is watching!
Twitter: Big protests in Iran. 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!
Twitter: Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration. 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!
Twitter: The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their “pockets.” The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!
Vice President Mike Pence
Twitter: @POTUS & I stand w/ peaceful protestors in Iran who are speaking out for freedom & we condemn the arrests of innocents. The time has come for the regime in Tehran to end terrorist activities, corruption, & their disregard for human rights. #IranProtests
Twitter: As long as @RealDonaldTrump is POTUS and I am VP, the United States of America will not repeat the shameful mistake of our past when others stood by and ignored the heroic resistance of the Iranian people as they fought against their brutal regime... (1/2)
Twitter: (2/2)...The bold and growing resistance of the Iranian people today gives hope and faith to all who struggle for freedom and against tyranny. We must not and we will not let them down. #IranProtests
White House statement
WhiteHouse.Gov: We support the right of the Iranian people to express themselves peacefully. Their voices deserve to be heard. We encourage all parties to protect this fundamental right to peaceful expression and to avoid any actions that contribute to censorship.
U.S. State Department
State.Gov: The United States strongly condemns the arrest of peaceful protesters. We urge all nations to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for basic rights and an end to corruption.
On June 14, 2017, Secretary Tillerson testified to Congress that he supports “those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of government. Those elements are there, certainly as we know.” The Secretary today repeats his deep support for the Iranian people.
Ambassador Nikki Haley
Twitter: “The Iranian government is being tested by its own citizens. We pray that freedom and human rights will carry the day.”
Senator Tom Cotton
In a statement on December 28: "Even after the billions in sanctions relief they secured through the nuclear deal, the ayatollahs still can't provide for the basic needs of their own people-perhaps because they've funneled so much of that money into their campaign of regional aggression in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen. The protests in Mashhad show that a regime driven by such a hateful ideology cannot maintain broad popular support forever, and we should support the Iranian people who are willing to risk their lives to speak out against it."
On the Hugh Hewitt show, January 2: We should express our support not only for the protests, but for “the cause for which they protest, which is to have a right to protest for the hope to live in a country that is stable, provides a decent standard of living, and does not take their money and children's lives to pursue violent foreign policies in the Middle East… Senior statesmen from both parties should be expressing our support for the Iranian people’s desire to live under a government of their own choosing, not a revolutionary government like the ayatollahs have put in place. One that focuses on their interests, one that doesn’t export violence and revolution, spending all of their money and taking their lives in places like Syria, and Lebanon, and Yemen, which most Iranians could care less about… This is really the Iranian people’s moment, not America’s moment... It’s important that we stand in solidarity with them.
Senator Marco Rubio
Statement: “All nations must hold the regime in Tehran fully accountable for any suppression of peaceful demonstrators in Iran. The Iranian people have a right to peacefully protest the regime’s rampant corruption, and to call for a truly representative government that protects human rights, upholds the impartial rule of law, and seeks peace with all of its neighbors.”
Senator Ted Cruz
Statement: "I strongly support and stand in solidarity with the Iranian people who are bravely taking to the streets to speak out against their repressive, brutal government in Tehran. These protests reveal to the world that the Iranian regime would rather export and finance terror beyond its borders--especially to its terrorist proxies in Syria, Gaza, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen--than work to meet the basic needs of its own citizens. The Iranian people want freedom and an end to the ayatollahs' reign of terror. ..”
Republican Jewish Coalition
The Republican Jewish Coalition supports the courageous Iranian people who have taken to the streets in peaceful protests against the oppressive, failing regime of the ayatollahs. We support the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom for themselves and their families.
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