A day after Iran's foreign minister set out preconditions paving the way toward rapprochement between Tehran and Washington, his American counterpart has fired back with a series of tweets.
Referring to the 30 percent unemployment rate among youth and families struggling with economic hardship in Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on June 21 that Iran is wasting and “plundering” its national wealth by orchestrating proxy wars and enriching the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
“Iran’s corrupt regime has enriched IRGC, [Lebanese] Hizballah and [Palestinian] Hamas, and plundered the country’s wealth on proxy wars abroad while Iranian families struggle,” Pompeo tweeted.
Meanwhile, Pompeo listed a number of human rights violations by the Iranian regime.
Noting that Washington has always exerted pressure on Tehran to amend its position against human rights, Pompeo criticized the UN’s Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in one of his tweets, adding that UNHRC issues numerous resolutions against Israel every year but only one concerning human rights violations in Iran and North Korea.
Three days earlier, Washington officially declared its intention to pull out of UNHRC for its “institutionalized and partial” position against Israel while having a number of human rights violator governments as its members.
In another tweet, Pompeo presented a diagram depicting the number of arrests during the past year in Iran, demanding an “explanation."
The diagram shows that the number of detained people in Iran rose significantly risen between December 2016 and December 2017.
Pompeo also reminded that 5,000 people were detained during December's uprising against the Iranian regime that soon spread to more than 100 cities, 30 women were arrested for protesting compulsory hijab, and hundreds of dervishes, dozens of environmental activists, and 30 farmers in Isfahan and 400 in Ahvaz were put behind bars.
All of these people, Pompeo tweeted, were “imprisoned by Iran’s criminal regime. Iranian people deserve respect for their human rights.”
The uprising against corruption, poverty, and unemployment that broke out in December in Shi’ites’ holiest city in Iran, Mashhad, soon turned into widespread demonstrations against the establishment and its highest authorities. The demonstrations continued for 11 days across the country left at least 25 dead and more than 5,000 arrested.
Many of the detainees, including several students’ rights activists, have been harshly sentenced to long-term imprisonment allegedly for participating in the nonviolent demonstrations.
Presenting another image, Pompeo tweeted, “Nearly 30% percent of the Iranian youth are unemployed.”
The Iran's authorities have not yet responded to Pompeo’s tweets, which were posted a day after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to the preconditions set for Tehran by Pompeo a month ago.
In a lengthy “article” published on Iran’s Foreign Ministry’s website on June 21, Zarif, set out numerous preconditions of his own for a possible rapprochement between Tehran and Washington.