President Donald Trump warned the Iranian government to apply caution on its violation or citizens’ rights and freedom following reports of social media blockade and violence from state security agencies, but President Hassan Rouhani fired back in the most uncivilized manner, telling the American leader to “watch his mouth.”
Most citizens of Iran are boldly calling for better treatment and transparency while a part of the citizenry say Rouhani should willingly or forcefully relinquish the mantle of leadership.
Trump did not join those who called for Rouhani’s ouster, however, he expressed sadness that Iran has progressed in its trademark human rights violations.
“Iran, the Number One State of Sponsored Terror with numerous violations of Human Rights occurring on an hourly basis, has now closed down the Internet so that peaceful demonstrators cannot communicate. Not good!” Wrote the American billionaire president on Twitter.
According to a report from Fox News, President Rouhani, who spoke in a nationwide televised broadcast, worried less of the increasing number of citizens filling up the streets in an “unpresidented” anti-government protests which has spread to several cities in Iran. Instead, the 61-year-old autocrat directed his jab at Trump.
“[Trump] has forgotten that he had called Iranian people ‘terrorists’ a few months ago…,” Rouhani said in his Sunday speech. It was his first statement since the riots kicked off on Thursday.
The comments came hours after two protesters were killed at a rally, the news outlet highlighted.
The Iranian supreme leader, however, noted that people have the right to demonstrate, but added that those demonstrations should not make the public “feel concerned about their lives and security.”
Rouhani was re-elected as president of Iran on his promise to deliver a more representative government, an agreement and word of honor which have been elusive, ignored and disregarded.
19 May 2017: Rouhani won 24 mill. votes on one promise: “A more representative political system to come”
He lied. 222 days later: protests pic.twitter.com/ogByBs9eDn
— Alex Vatanka (@AlexVatanka) December 31, 2017
CNN quotes a local source as confirming that in one of the heated protest zones, his family witness a mob swarming the governor’s office in Dorud, a location in the Lorestan province of western Iran, and adds that security agents fired gunshots at the mob, leaving five people wounded.
“Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice. The world is watching!” Trump tweeted on Saturday after previous insinuations that Rouhani was stealing government’s funds to sponsor terrorism around the world.
Ineffective government policies have been cited as the reason for Iran’s economic downturn. Citizens are disenchanted, having suffered years of endemic economic and corruption, high unemployment level, and inflation.
Some political analysts like Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, concentrated on a lack of sturdy international investment and buttressed the fact that Iran’s nuclear deal is overwhelmingly supported by the Iranian public except that there was an expectation that much more economic development would come out of it.
Hail to the heroic people of #Kermanshah who have risen up with chants of “death or freedom”, “death to Rouhani” and “death to the dictator” to protest against high prices, poverty and corruption. Yesterday in #Mashhad, today in Kermanshah, and tomorrow all over #Iran.
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) December 29, 2017
The relations between Iran and the U.S. hasn’t been cordial. Despite the relief from UN’s removal of restrictions on the former’s financial, energy and transportation sectors, Trump’s government still has hundreds of Iranian entities in its blacklists.
In addition, the United States has created new sanctions over other violations, including a rocket launch this past summer.
Reza Marashi, research director for the National Iranian American Council, told CNN in an interview that “economic sanctions have exacerbated all of those Iranian-origin economic problems…I don’t think you can separate the economic from the political. The government has an opportunity and a responsibility to address legitimate grievances that are being expressed.”
In 1979 Iranians experienced a revolution without democracy; today they aspire for democracy without a revolution
— Karim Sadjadpour (@ksadjadpour) December 29, 2017
“…This person who is against Iran from head to toe does not have the right to be sympathetic to Iranian people,” Rouhani said of Trump’s sympathy, according to a report from The Associated Press.
Image: Hassan Rouhani
“The government will definitely not tolerate those groups who are after the destruction of public property or disrupting the public order or spark riots in the society,” he said.
“We are a free nation,” the Iranian president added in his prerecorded speech on state broadcaster IRINN. “And according to the constitution and citizen rights, the people are free to express their criticism and even their protests.
“But, criticism should not be accompanied with violence or vandalizing public property.”
Riots were reported in Tehran, Kermanshah, Arak, Qazvin, Khorramabad, Karaj and Sabzevar.
Iranian Interior Minister Rahmani Fazli issued a stern warning on Sunday that protesters who cause public disorder would “pay the price.”