Iran’s foreign minister slammed U.S. officials for their support of protests in the country, calling them hypocritical on Sunday.
Foreign Minister Abbas Mousavi specifically called out a tweet sent by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday as protests reportedly flared across Iran.
Mousavi said Iran “knows well that such hypocrite statements are completely void of sincere sympathy,” according to the state-run news agency IRNA.
Pompeo retweeted a statement from July 2018 in support of “the proud Iranian people [who] are not staying silent about their government’s abuses.”
“As I said to the people of Iran almost a year and a half ago: The United States is with you,” Pompeo tweeted.
As I said to the people of Iran almost a year and a half ago: The United States is with you. https://t.co/D972wPyLxm
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 16, 2019
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham also issued a statement in support of the Iranian protests on Sunday.
“The United States supports the Iranian people in their peaceful protests against the regime that is supposed to lead them. We condemn the lethal force and severe communications restrictions used against demonstrators,” Grisham said.
“Tehran has fanatically pursued nuclear weapons and missile programs, and supported terrorism, turning a proud nation into another cautionary tale of what happens when a ruling class abandons its people and embarks on a crusade for personal power and riches.”
CNN reports some 100 banks and 57 shops have been set on fire in the protests. The network cited Mehr News, which quoted an Iranian security organization. CNN also reports that more than 1,000 protesters have been arrested, citing Fars News Agency.
A 50 percent hike in government-set gas prices sparked protests in Iranian cities, resulting in the death of at least one person, The Associated Press reported Saturday.
President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran and reimposed sanctions, increasing tensions between Washington and Tehran.