Trump tweets new support for Iranian protesters

Iranians chant slogans as they march in support of the government near the Imam Khomeini grand mosque in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017. (Hamed Malekpour/AFP/Getty Images)

TEHRAN, Iran  — President Donald Trump is continuing to voice support for protesters in Iran, saying the government there is trying to throttle the demonstrations by cutting off communications.

In a tweet Sunday, Trump says: “Iran, the Number One State of Sponsored Terror with numerous violations of Human Rights occurring on an hourly basis, has now closed down the Internet so that peaceful demonstrators cannot communicate. Not good!”

Earlier Trump tweeted that it looks like the Iranians “will not take it any longer.” And he adds: “The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”

The public discontent has been fanned by messages sent on the Telegram messaging app, which Iranian authorities blocked Sunday along with the photo-sharing app Instagram, which is owned by tech giant Facebook.

Trump has repeatedly tweeted support for the protesters.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized Trump in comments published Sunday. He says Trump “has forgotten that he had called Iranian people ‘terrorists’ a few months ago.”

President Rouhani’s comments were the first he made since the widespread protests began in the Islamic Republic.

Rouhani said in comments published Sunday night that people have the right to protest, but those demonstrations should not make the public “feel concerned about their lives and security.”

The Iranian president also acknowledged the public’s worries extend beyond economy to corruption allegations and government transparency.