Iran expresses displeasure over US support for Mahsa Amini stir, calls protesters ‘rioters’

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Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has been quoted by Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency voicing his displeasure over American support to women-led protests in Iran. The minister said that USA’s support to protests is contrary to it diplomatic stance with Iran.

“Peaceful protest is the right of every nation. However, the U.S. involvement in Iran’s affairs and support to ‘rioters’ in implementing their destabilisation project is in clear conflict with Washington’s diplomatic messages to Iran regarding the necessity of a nuclear deal and establishing stability in the region,” Amirabdollahian said.

Protests have rocked the Islamic Republic after custodial death of 22-year-old Mhasa Amini. She was detained by Iran’s morality police which was seeking to inforce the hijab rule.

On Saturday, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said that Iran must “deal decisively with those who oppose the country’s security and tranquility.”

The president “stressed the necessity to distinguish between protest and disturbing public order and security, and called the events a riot,” state media reported.

The protests are taking place when Iran is engaged in negotiations with world powers and indirectly with the US for revival of 2015 nuclear deal. Former US preisident Donald Trump unilaterally pulled USA out of the deal in 2018. Any exchange of words between Iran and the US, even over a seemingly distinct issue like women’s protest may be viewed as an indicator of strain between the two countries over nuclear deal.

(With inputs from agencies)

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