Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the United States to “stop violence” against the American people Monday as the Trump administration authorized broad use of law enforcement to control violent riots in the country.
Foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told reporters at a news conference Monday that Iran stood with Americans protesting over the death of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police May 25. “And to the American officials and police: stop violence against your people and let them breathe,” Mousavi said, referring to Floyd’s statement that he couldn’t breathe when police pinned him to the ground, Al Jazeera reported.
Major American cities have been engulfed by protests over the killing and police misconduct, although many of these protests have descended into violent riots with numerous cases of looting and destruction of property. In response to the violent and destructive behavior taking place, police have used tear gas and flash grenades to disperse the riots, including in Washington D.C.
President Donald Trump has offered his support to local and state governments in their efforts, further stating that he would mobilize all civilian and military resources to end the violence.
Mousavi referred to these law enforcement efforts as a “state of oppression,” and seemed to ignore the riots when he said that it was peaceful protestors being “suppressed indiscriminately and met with utmost violence.” Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also condemned efforts to control the riots.
US cities are scenes of brutality against protesters & press, as military crackdown is threatened
Europe—quick to be judge & jury about non-Western societies—keeps deafeningly silent.
If it wants to keep lips sealed now, it should always keep them that way#WorldAgainstRacism
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) June 2, 2020
The statements from foreign ministry officials, as well as accusations that the United States is “practicing violence and bullying at home,” is ironic given the Iranian regime regularly disappears and tortures its own people, and has killed hundreds of protesters in the past.
Iran’s response to a November 2019 protest over an increase in oil prices led to at least 1,500 deaths and more than 12,000 arrests, with the country’s Interior Department orchestrating an Internet blackout to prevent information from spreading among protestors.
Authorities in the capital Tehran also arrested and tortured women in 2018 after they were seen in public without their hijabs, and human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested shortly after for defending the women. (RELATED: Iranian Government Releases Anti-Semitic ‘Final Solution’ Poster)
Iran is also a regime with little freedom of expression, association and assembly, executes hundreds of people every year, tortures prisoners using flogging and amputations, disappears people that criticize the regime using its national police force, and discriminates against ethnic and religious minorities, along with women and LGBT people.
While Iranian officials criticize Trump and the American government for trying to disperse the nationwide riots, they repeatedly deny their government’s role in atrocities and abuses committed against their own people.