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Iranian State Media: ‘The People of Iran Don’t Want Trump’s Sympathy’

Iranian Protests
Hamed Malekpour/AFP/Getty Images

The pro-Iranian state outlet Fars News Agency accused President Donald Trump of exploiting anti-Islamist protests in the nation with “outrageous and insulting” comments against the repressive regime, claiming, “the people of Iran don’t want Trump’s sympathy.”

In an extensive editorial, Fars appeared to belie concern within the Iranian establishment about what open support from the United States could do to boost the morale of protesters, who began taking to the streets last week to demand Iran invest more heavily in its people than in Hezbollah and other terrorist pursuits.

“Lest he forgets, this is an internal matter and the people of Iran don’t want Trump’s sympathy,” the editorial argues. “In fact, they have been paying a heavy price for Washington’s unjustified sanctions regime and hostility since the revolution of 1979.”

“Trump is in no position to sympathize with Iranians through his outrageous and insulting comments. Simply put, people attach no value to his opportunistic remarks,” the column continues, going on to call Trump “a man of no fixed beliefs and values” and asking of his opinion, “Who cares?”

The piece also refers to the Islamic State as one of “Trump’s most vile allies.”

The article claims that all Iranian economic hardships are “mainly because of America’s sanctions regime” and that Iran is “the only democracy in the Middle East,” despite openly being an Islamic tyranny run by a “supreme leader” entirely unaccountable to his people. The authors accept that protesters were “rightfully demanding economic recovery,” but then claim that protesters had “mostly gone home now,” leaving only violent rioters. The violent rioters, naturally, “are being manipulated by the West-based social media platforms and agents of foreign intelligence services.”

Most Iranians, the article claims, have been mesmerized by “the stunning military victories of the allied forces of Iran, Syria, Iraq, Russia, Hezbollah and Popular Mobilization Units in the Levant” and “have the highest possible confidence in the armed forces because of their recent victories in Iraq and Syria.”

Among the slogans Iranian protesters have begun chanting nationwide have been “Leave Syria, think about us,” “Death to Hezbollah,” and “Forget about Gaza and Lebanon; I’ll sacrifice my life for Iran.”

The Iranian protesters are demanding an end to Iran’s attempts to colonize its neighbors, which have fueled violence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen, among other actors in the region. While protests began as a response to a spike in the prices of some food goods, protesters were quick to begin comparing their struggle to find affordable eggs and produce with the billions that President Hassan Rouhani promised would flow into the country as a result of the Iran nuclear deal, and how little of that money the average Iranian has seen.

The Iran deal guaranteed at least $150 billion in frozen assets to Iran, as well as a separate $1.7 billion payment the Obama administration made as Iran released some of the U.S. citizens it held as political prisoners.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Iranian government had confirmed over 20 deaths in the protests that began last Thursday, including at least one police officer. Protesters persisted into the evening. Some participating have reportedly begun attacking government buildings and vehicles. Iran’s officials initially responded to the protests by forcing citizens to participate in pro-Ayatollah “rallies,” but reports suggest that they have since given orders to police to crack down on the protesters.

President Donald Trump has consistently issued statements citing with peaceful, anti-authoritarian protesters since they began on Thursday. Most recently, on Tuesday, Trump repeated on Twitter that “the U.S. is watching” for any repression from the regime. The President has also been critical of Obama’s decision to release billions in funds to Iran as part of the nuclear deal.

In addition to Trump’s remarks, both the State Department and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley have issued statements in support of the protesters. The only other head of government to issue a statement clearly supporting the protesters has been Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who wished the protesters “success in their noble quest for freedom.”

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