The United State President Donald Trump said Saturday the US was monitoring Iranian demonstrations closely, warning against any new “massacre” as protests broke out after Tehran admitted to shooting down a passenger plane.
Trump told Iranians in tweets in both English and Farsi that he stands by them and is monitoring the demonstrations.
“To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I’ve stood with you since the start of my Presidency, and my Administration will still stand with you,” he tweeted.
“There can’t be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown. the world is watching,” he added, apparently relating to an Iranian crackdown on street protests that broke call at November.
“We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage,” he said.
Iran had said earlier it unintentionally downed a Ukrainian jetliner outside Tehran, killing all 176 people aboard, in an abrupt about-turn after initially denying Western claims it had been struck by a missile. The firing came shortly after Iran launched missiles at bases in Iraq housing American forces.
President Hassan Rouhani said a military probe into the tragedy had found “missiles fired due to human error” brought down the Boeing 737, calling it an “unforgivable mistake.”
The new demonstrations follow an Iranian crackdown on street protests that broke out in November. Amnesty International has said it left over 300 people dead.
Internet access was reportedly interrupted in multiple Iranian provinces prior to memorials planned a month after the protests.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has demanded that Iran provide “full clarity” on the downing of the plane. Ottawa says the dead included 57 Canadians.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also offered his condolences and ordered the soldiers to deal with “shortcomings” in order that such a disaster doesn’t happen again.
Tehran’s acknowledgement came after officials in Iran denied for days Western claims that the Ukraine International Airlines plane had been struck by a missile in a catastrophic error.
The Kiev-bound jet slammed into a field shortly after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on Wednesday.
The crash came hours after Tehran launched missiles at bases hosting American forces in Iraq in response to the killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani during a US drone strike.
Fears grew of an all-out war between Iran and its arch-enemy the US, but those concerns have subsided after Trump said Tehran seemed to be standing down after targeting the US bases.