TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — President Donald Trump says the people of Iran are “finally acting against the brutal and corrupt” government.
Trump tweeted Tuesday that the Iranian people have “little food, big inflation and no human rights.” He adds: “The U.S. is watching.”
It was Trump’s latest comment on the largest anti-government demonstrations in Iran since its disputed 2009 election. Trump’s tweet came after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday accused the “enemies of Iran” of meddling in the country’s affairs.
State television reported that nine people were killed in overnight clashes between protesters and security forces.
Trump tweeted that “all of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their ‘pockets,'” referring to the global deal that removed some economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. Trump opposes that deal.
Turkey is voicing concern over protests in neighboring Iran that have resulted in deaths and harmed public property, saying Ankara attaches great importance to the “preservation of social peace and stability” in the country.
In a statement released Tuesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry urged protesters to avoid violence and not to fall for “provocations.” It also welcomed a speech by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during which he backed the right to peaceful protests but warned against violating laws or harming public property.
The ministry said: “We hope that peace is ensured and common sense prevails so that the events do not escalate, and that rhetoric and foreign interventions that incite developments are avoided.”
The protests against the government’s handling of the economy, which began Thursday and have spread to several cities, are the largest seen in Iran since those that followed a disputed 2009 presidential election.