By Pooya Stone
The US Department of State's website on Monday, 2 December, echoed part of the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s interview about the situation of Iran in the Middle East and inside the country:
“In the Middle East, what you see taking place is the Iraqi prime minister resigned within the last 48 hours. He did so because the people were demanding freedom and the security forces had killed dozens and dozens of people. That’s due in large part to Iranian influence there.
Last week, I asked the courageous Iranian people to send us evidence documenting the regime’s violent crackdown of #IranProtests. So far, we received nearly 20,000 messages. The U.S. already took action against Iran’s Disinformation Minister. More sanctions are coming. pic.twitter.com/USeOpdJC9A— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 26, 2019
“The same is true in Lebanon. The protests in Beirut are a desire for the people of Lebanon. It’s people of all religions. You have Christians, Sunni Muslims, you have people from all across Lebanon just demanding basic autonomy for the nation. They want Hizballah and Iran out of their country, out of their – out of their system as a violent and repressive force inside of their country. The same thing is happening in Baghdad.
About the November protests which took place in 187 cities across Iran, while more than 12,000 people were arrested and more than 750 killed, he said:
“And the protests in Iran itself in 90-plus cities are taking place because the Iranian people are fed up. They see a theocracy that is stealing money. The ayatollah is stealing tens and tens of millions of dollars, putting it in his own pocket, money that should go to provide resources for the Iranian people. And they just – it’s – they say enough and they’re demanding these basic rights.
“Our role in all of this is to support freedom wherever we are able to do so, to create transparency so that the world can see. In Iran, the reporting indicates that there are several hundred people who have been killed by the security forces, thousands detained inside of Iran, and to stand up and say that’s not right, these people are simply asking for a basic set of freedoms, and the Iranian leadership – that regime should change in a way that reflects the desires of their own people.”
Peter Murphy, head of the Australian Committee for Democracy in Iran, said in a statement that he urged Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the US government, the European Union and the United Nations to exert maximum pressure on the Iranian government to:
- Stop killing, arresting, and torturing protesters.
- Stop arrests, torture and execute opponents.
- Unconditionally release more than 10,000 arrested protesters.
- The Internet and telephones in Iran must be fully reconnected.
We urge the Australian Government and the international community to use the technical facilities available to Iranian citizens to access the Internet, the statement added.
The statement further emphasized: “Hundreds of unarmed people in the streets of Iranian cities, shooting in the head, is a crime against humanity.
“The international community must act swiftly to prevent the threat of executions in the public because the threats were voiced by Khamenei's representatives in a Friday prayer on 22 November.
“We call on the Australian Government to propose that the UN Security Council, (Iran’s) regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, regimes President Rouhani, the head of the Judiciary, Ibrahim Raisi, the Speaker of the Expert Assembly Ahmad Jannati, and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and Basij commanders be brought to the ICC.”
Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, on Monday made the following statement and expressed his concern about government violence against the defenseless protesters in Iran:
"I am gravely concerned about the escalating violent situation in Iran. Recent reports indicate 100 or more people have been killed, hundreds injured, and more than 1,000 unjustly arrested. I condemn the Iranian government's violent crackdown on its own citizens and stand with those who are protesting peacefully.
"I also condemn the continued use of censorship and regime-enforced internet blackouts to limit free and open communication. The people of Iran deserve all internationally guaranteed human rights and protections.
"As people peacefully assemble across the region, governments must respect their citizens' human rights, including the rights to protest and express themselves."
Bärbel Kofler, the German government's human rights minister, condemned the brutal crackdown by security forces on Iranian protesters. She said:
“I was shocked to hear that more than 100 people were killed during the Iranian protests, and I condemn the inappropriate violence by the Iranian security forces.
R.Nicholas Burns, former US Undersecretary of State, tweeted and condemned the violence of the Iranian regime:
“The Supreme Leader and Revolutionary Guards are responsible for horrific violence — hundreds of Iranian citizens killed and several thousand wounded and arrested. This should be universally condemned.”
US Senator Rick Scott condemned the Iranian regime and tweeted:
“Hundreds dead, thousands wounded and detained. This is how the Iranian government responds to peaceful protests. The people of #Iran have had enough of the oppressive regime. The cries for democracy and freedom in Iran are only beginning.”