US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has asked Iranian protesters to send photos and video footage documenting what he called the regime's crackdown on protesters, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry criticized, saying Pompeo's support for the Iranian people was puzzling.
"I asked the Iranian protesters to send us videos, photos and information documenting the regime's campaign against the protesters," Pompeo wrote in a tweet in Persian and then in English.
He added that "the United States will publish these violations and punish" the perpetrators. This came about a week after reiterating Washington's support for Iranian protesters.
In response to Pompeo's remarks, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Pompeo's remarks about his country's support for the Iranian people were confusing, saying that many of the things that led to dissatisfaction in Iran were caused by the United States.
Zakharova said Moscow was monitoring the internal situation in Iran against the backdrop of the protests in the country.
|Protests lead to deaths (Reuters)|
Accusations and fear
US President Donald Trump on Thursday accused the Iranian government of cutting off the Internet to cover up the "death and tragedy" amid a wave of protests in Iran in recent days.
"Iran has become so unstable that the regime has shut down the entire Internet, so that the great Iranian people cannot talk about the massive violence that is happening inside the country," Trump wrote on Twitter.
"They do not want any transparency, believing that the world will not discover the death and tragedy caused by the Iranian regime."
Days after the demonstrations broke out last Friday, hours after the government announced the amendment of the subsidy system for gasoline prices that benefit poor families, but it was accompanied by a significant increase in gasoline prices at gas stations;
The authorities have so far confirmed the deaths of five people, but the United Nations has expressed fear of the death of "dozens" during the clashes.
|Demonstrators block streets|
This comes at a time when Amnesty International accused the authorities of resorting to excessive use of "lethal force to crush mostly peaceful demonstrations."
She estimated that "at least 106 demonstrators were killed," but the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York considered these figures "unreliable."
For its part, the European Union urged Iranian security forces to commit to "maximum restraint", saying that "any form of violence is unacceptable."
The European Union, in a statement, rejected the use of violence, and called for allowing protesters to demonstrate in peace and guarantee their right to freedom of expression and assembly.
He said that in light of reports of protests in Iranian cities that have led to heavy loss of life, social and economic challenges must be addressed through inclusive dialogue rather than through the use of violence.
He called on the Iranian authorities to ensure the free flow of information and Internet access.