December 31, 2017
The US State Department has issued a formal condemnation of the Iranian government following two days of economic protests centering in a handful of cities, calling the regime “a rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos” while announcing support for protesters.
It fits a familiar script which seems to roll out when anyone protests for any reason in a country considered an enemy of the United States (whether over economic grievances or full on calling for government overthrow).
The statement by spokesperson Heather Nauert, released late on Friday, further comes very close to calling for regime change in Iran when it asserts the following:
On June 14, 2017, Secretary Tillerson testified to Congress that he supports “those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of government. Those elements are there, certainly as we know.” The Secretary today repeats his deep support for the Iranian people.
U.S. strongly condemns arrest of peaceful protestors in #Iran, urges all nations to publicly support Iranian people. As @POTUS said, longest-suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are Iran’s own people. #Iranprotests pic.twitter.com/mUTObTeHft
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) December 29, 2017
Though most current reports strongly suggest protests are being driven fundamentally by economic grievances, the US has already framed this week’s events inside Iran as revolutionary in nature and as aiming for “transition of government”. On Friday evening White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted the following statement:
Reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with the regime’s corruption and its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. The Iranian government should respect their people’s rights including their right to express…