U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in a tweet has expressed support for the Iranian people amid anti-Islamic Republic protests across Iran.
Pence says, as Iranians protest the “Ayatollahs in Tehran continue to use violence and imprisonment to oppress their people. The United States’ message is clear: the American people stand with the Iranian people”.
Previously, Mike Pompeo, the State Department and the White House had issued similar messages in support of the Iranian protesters. However, President Donald Trump has not personally spoken about the widespread protests.
This has led some Iranian journalists and activists to voice surprise, given Trump’s strong public statements in the past against the Islamic Republic and its leaders.
The authorities have used lethal force against the protesters, killing at least 138 according to Radio Farda’s conservative estimate. A UN body and International rights organizations have strongly condemned the use of force.
France and Germany have condemned the violence used against protesters.
Unrest began in Iran when on November 15 the government raised gasoline prices amid a severe economic downturn coupled with high inflation. But as protests gained momentum, the message of angry demonstrators turned against the very essence of the Islamic Republic and the legitimacy of its leaders.