Trump sends message of solidarity for Iran protesters
Donald Trump tweets in English and Farsi that he stands by the ‘long-suffering people of Iran’ and warns Tehran ‘the world is watching’ as protesters demand the Ayatollah’s resignation for the ‘unintentional’ jetliner missile strike
- President Donald Trump tweeted a message of support for Iranian protesters on Saturday, saying ‘my Administration will continue to stand with you’
- On Saturday thousands people gathered to protest the government
- The protests broke out after Iran admitted the Revolutionary Guard accidentally brought down Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 on January 8
- The plane crash killed 176 people on board, 130 of them Iranian citizens
- Protesters decried Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei by chanting ‘death to the dictator’ and ‘The Chief Commander of all army forces must resign’
- UK Ambassador to Iran Rob Macaire was arrested and released an hour later on Saturday for allegedly ‘organizing, provoking, and directing radical actions’
President Donald Trump tweeted a message of support for the people of Iran on Saturday evening, saying ‘we are inspired by your courage’ as thousands of angry demonstrators protested the regime in the streets of Tehran.
‘To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I’ve stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage,’ Trump tweeted in English and in Farsi.
‘The government of Iran must allow human rights groups to monitor and report facts from the ground on the ongoing protests by the Iranian people. There can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown. The world is watching,’ he added.
His statement was a sign of solidarity with the thousands who gathered in front of the gate of the Amirkabir University of Technology near the former US embassy in Tehran to protest the government and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for mistakenly downing a civilian passenger plane.
President Donald Trump tweeted a message of support for the people of Iran on Saturday evening, saying ‘we are inspired by your courage’ as thousands of angry demonstrators protested the regime in the streets of Tehran
He tweeted the message in English and Farsi, showing his solidarity with the people of Iran
He added: ‘The government of Iran must allow human rights groups to monitor and report facts from the ground on the ongoing protests by the Iranian people. There can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown’
On Saturday President Donald Trump warned Iran ‘the world is watching’
Earlier on Saturday Iran finally admitted that its Revolutionary Guard Air defense forces mistakenly brought down Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 shortly after it took off from Tehran on January 8. On board were 176 people, 130 of them Iranian citizens.
‘Armed Forces internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people,’ President Hassan Rouhani said on Twitter.
‘Investigations continue to identify and prosecute this great tragedy and unforgivable mistake,’ he added.
Iran for days claimed that a technical failure caused the crash, before admitting on Saturday that its own surface-to-air missiles brought the plane down.
Iranian Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, the Guards’ aerospace commander, claimed on Saturday that the country’s top military leaders were not initially aware that their own air defense system had shot the plan down, leading to confusion. Now the country has come clean, but still blames ‘US adventurism’ for the fatal ‘error’.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei also offered condolences to the families, as he called for an investigation and ordered the military to address ‘shortcomings’ on Saturday morning.
Iran was on high alert at the time, hours after launching ballistic missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq in a strike that caused no casualties. That missile strike was in retaliation for a U.S. operation that killed powerful Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
On Saturday night a gathering that started out as mournful vigils for the Iranian lives lost in the plane crash turned into a protest. Riot police quickly arrived on the scene to control the protesters as they chanted ‘Death to the Islamic republic’ and were seen firing tear gas into the crowd.
Angry crowds gathered in at least four locations across Tehran tonight, calling for the country’s supreme leader to step down over the tragic military blunder.
At Amirkabir University, protesters chanted ‘Down with the dictator’ and ‘shame on IRGC [Revolutionary Guard], let the country go.’
At Sharif University, crowds of outraged Iranians chanted ‘commander in chief, resign!’ The Ayatollah is Iran’s commander in chief.
‘Our enemy is right here; they lie when they say it’s the US’ protesters were heard chanting in one video.
Cops armed with shields and batons tried to disperse the crowds, and police fired water canons at protesters.
In the midst of the protests UK Ambassador to Iran Rob Macaire was arrested in Tehran for allegedly ‘directing radical actions’.
The UK ambassador to Iran Rob Macaire was arrested and released about an hour later on Saturday evening during violent protests in Tehran in response to Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei’s regime admitting it had mistakenly shot down a civilian passenger plane
‘I wish I had died, and I wouldn’t have seen such an incident,’ said a somber Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, the Guards’ aerospace commander, at a press conference. Iran admitted that it shot down Flight 752, thinking the plane was a missile
Ukraine International Airlines’ Boeing 737-800 plane wreckage is seen in a picture from investigation team released today
Rescue workers at the crash site recovered the bodies of victims on Wednesday (above)
Diplomat Rob Macaire was present during demonstrations against Ayatollah Khamenei in front of Tehran’s Amir Kabir University and was arrested after allegedly ‘organizing, provoking and directing radical actions’, according to local reports.
Mr Macaire, a diplomat with 30 years experience, was released following more than an hour in detention.
In a strongly worded statement, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab warned Iran that it needed to make a choice between becoming a ‘pariah’ state or to ‘deescalate tensions’ with the west.
‘The arrest of our Ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law. The Iranian government is at a cross-roads moment,’ Raab said.
‘It can continue its march towards pariah status with all the political and economic isolation that entails, or take steps to deescalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forwards.’
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