Rouhani says Iranians have right to protest, slams Trump’s comments
Iranians are free to protest and criticize Iran’s government, President Hassan Rouhani has said, adding, that the protests should not descend into violence. He also blasted President Donald Trump’s comments on the protests.
“People are absolutely free to criticise the government,” the Iranian president said Sunday, commenting on the ongoing mass protests in Iran for the first time. The protests should be held in a way that would lead to the improvement of the situation in the Islamic Republic and not the other way round, he added.
“Criticism is different from violence and damaging public properties,” Rouhani warned as he called on demonstrators to refrain from any disruptive behaviour. He also said dealing with the current problems that Iran is facing “would take time,” adding, the people and the government should help each other in overcoming the difficulties.
The US has no moral right to act as if it defended the rights of Iranians because Washington itself calls them terrorists, Rouhani said.
“Those, who called Iranians terrorists, have no business sympathizing with our nation,” Rouhani said, referring to a series of Twitter posts by Trump. “This man in America who is sympathizing today with our people has forgotten that he called the Iranian nation terrorists a few months ago,” the president said at a government meeting, as cited by the official IRNA news agency.