Iran blasts Pompeo for backing protesters

Iran’s Foreign Ministry blasts Secretary of State's "meddlesome" remarks on Iran protests.

Elad Benari,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday condemned US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement supporting the protests in Iran.

In a statement quoted by the Iranian Mehr news agency, the spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, described Pompeo’s remarks as “meddlesome”.

“The noble Iranian nation is well aware that the US Secretary of State's hypocritical sympathy with a number of rioters in the country was not based on honesty, adding that the misconduct of a number of people who engage in sabotage have nothing to do with the way that the majority of the vigilant and insightful Iranian people behave,” he added.

Mousavi further noted that Pompeo sympathized with the same Iranian people who live under the “US economic terrorism”, a reference to the sanctions the US has imposed on Iran, ad added that Pompeo was the same person “who sought to starve out the Iranian people to make them surrender to the US pressures.”

The comments follow a tweet by Pompeo on Saturday in which he retweeted a message originally published last year during protests in the Islamic Republic.

“As I said to the people of Iran almost a year and a half ago: The United States is with you,” he wrote.

Meanwhile on Sunday, the White House condemned Iran for using "lethal force" against the demonstrators, saying the US “supports the Iranian people in their peaceful protests against the regime that is supposed to lead them.”

The unrest erupted on Friday, hours after it was announced that the price of gas would rise to 15,000 rials per liter (12 US cents) from 10,000 for the first 60 liters, and to 30,000 rials for any extra fuel bought after that each month.

Access to the internet was restricted a day after the demonstrations broke out.

On Sunday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed support for the increases in gas and fuel prices, saying the protests against the move were encouraged by Iran’s enemies.

Iran has suffered from anti-government protests several times in recent years. In July of 2018, several people were injured in the southwestern Iranian city of Khorramshahr during a demonstration against water pollution, according to Iranian state media.

Iran also suffered from anti-government protests in January of that year.