Anti-government protests continue in Iran

Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(TEHRAN, Iran) — Protests continue in Iran as some demonstrators call for the release of political prisoners, economic reforms and greater social freedom. Others are protesting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

The protests started on Thursday in Mashhad and spread to other cities including Tehran by Friday. Dozens are reported to have been arrested in the last three days.

U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley both put out statements of support for Iranians on Sunday.

“Big protests in Iran,” Trump tweeted. “The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”

Haley said in a statement that “hopes and prayers” were with people “suffering terribly from oppressive governments,” including in Iran where she added “the long-pressed Iranian people are now finding their voice.”

“The Iranian government is being tested by its own citizens,” she said. “We pray that freedom and human rights will carry the day.”

On Saturday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert tweeted words of “deep respect” from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

“Secretary Tillerson reiterates the United States’ deep respect for the Iranian people,” she tweeted. “We call on all nations to stand with us in demanding the regime respect their basic human rights. #Iranprotests”

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