President Donald Trump has said Iran’s decision to shut down the Internet shows the country is “so unstable”, adding that “tremendous violence” has taken place.
This is the first Trump personally makes a comment about Iran’s widespread protest that began last Friday, November 15. Previously, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the White House and other U.S. officials had voiced support for protesters in Iran.
Brian Hook, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran in an interview with Radio Farda on November 18 urged Iranian authorities to listen to the demands of the Iranian people.
Trump’s remarks were in a short tweet sent on November 21 Washington time.
Iran used overwhelming lethal force to control spontaneous protests that began when gasoline prices were dramatically increased. Unrest engulfed more than 100 cities and towns across the country. Radio Farda’s conservative estimate based on various reports puts the number of protesters killed at 138.
Authorities shut off the Internet on the second day of protests, to prevent news and images of protests to reach the outside world and deny its people news about the extent of the unrest.
Internet connection is still off by 85 percent in Iran, as the government has very slowly restored limited connectivity.