Protesters in Iran thanked President Donald Trump for his vocal support for their cause in a message published this weekend, in which they also called on him to impose stronger sanctions, including for human rights abuses, on Iran’s regime.
“We thank you President Trump,” an Iranian activist who is affiliated with the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI, also known as the Mujaheddin-e-Khalq or MEK), told Fox News. “We call on all of the supporters of the people who press this regime from different fronts, to put pressure with you and overthrow with us.”
The MEK, which was founded in 1965, advocates for the overthrow of Iran’s regime. The group was delisted as a terrorist organization by the United States in 2012, is opposed to Iran’s last Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and participated in the 1979 Revolution that overthrew him. However, the group later broke with Iran’s Islamic leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini over ideology and direction, and went underground in 1981.
On Friday, President Trump announced that he would once again waive nuclear sanctions that were implemented under the Obama administration. He warned the Iranian regime that this would be his last time doing so.
Trump also warned his European allies, “Fix the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw.”
In addition to this, the Treasury Department announced that its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has designated 14 individuals and entities in connection with serious human rights abuses and censorship in Iran.
The sanctioned entities and individuals are Iranian and Chinese.
“The United States will not stand by while the Iranian regime continues to engage in human rights abuses and injustice,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said. “We are targeting the Iranian regime, including the head of Iran’s judiciary, for its appalling mistreatment of its citizens, including those imprisoned solely for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly, and for censoring its own people as they stand up in protest against their government.”
Despite efforts to quell the “sedition” by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the protests have continued.
“These uprisings have just begun,” one activist told Fox News. “People are not at all willing to give up. Their patience has come to an end and they have nothing to lose. Iran will surely not fall down and people will not retreat from their demands.”