Trump Comments on Iran Protests: Iranian Government ‘Should Respect Their People’s Rights’

US President Donald Trump speaks about the Iran deal from the Diplomatic Reception room of the White House
Getty Images

President Donald Trump called on the Iranian government to respect the right of its people to express themselves Friday in response to protests in Iran over rising prices and economic mismanagement.

Protests have spread around the Islamic Republic in such cities as Kermanshah, Rasht, Isfahan, Qom and Tehran, the capital. Government arrests of peaceful protesters have already prompted a condemnation from the Trump administration State Department, BBC reports.

"Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching!" Trump wrote, adding a hashtag for the Iran protests.

The statement was nearly identical to one released earlier Friday by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

"Reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with the regime’s corruption and its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad," she wrote. "The Iranian government should respect their people’s rights including their right to express themselves. The world is watching."

The protests began Thursday in Mashhad, Iran's second-largest city, where angry Iranians reportedly chanted slogans like "death to (President Hassan) Rouhani" and "death to the dictator."