"People are absolutely free to criticise the government,” the Iranian president said Sunday, commenting on the ongoing mass protests in Iran for the first time. The protests should be held in a way that would lead to the improvement of the situation in the Islamic Republic and not the other way round, he added.
"Criticism is different from violence and damaging public properties,” Rouhani warned as he called on demonstrators to refrain from any disruptive behaviour. He also said dealing with the current problems that Iran is facing “would take time,” adding, the people and the government should help each other in overcoming the difficulties.
The president then chided Trump over his comments concerning the situation in Iran. The US leader earlier repeatedly accused the Islamic Republic of “corruption” and “squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad” in a series of Twitter posts.
The US has no moral right to act as if it defended the rights of Iranians because Washington itself calls them terrorists, he said. “Those, who called Iranians terrorists, have no business sympathizing with our nation,” he added, referring to Trump’s comments.
“This man in America who is sympathizing today with our people has forgotten that he called the Iranian nation terrorists a few months ago,” the president said at a government meeting, as cited by the official IRNA news agency. “This man who is against the Iranian nation to his core has no right to sympathize with Iranians," Rouhani said further, calling Trump an “ill-wisher” and that Iranians do not need his sympathy.
Trump recently went on a Twitter spree, demonizing Iran and calling on its leadership to “respect the people’s rights." He also warned that “oppressive regimes” do not “endure forever,” and that the US “is watching very closely for human rights violations!”
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