WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States is concerned about reports of Iranian authorities using “violence against unarmed citizens,” as street protests have hit Tehran and other cities over economic hardships.
“We are deeply concerned about reports of Iranian regime’s violence against unarmed citizens,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter late on August 5.
He added that the “U.S. supports Iranian people’s right to protest against the regime’s corruption & oppression without fear of reprisal. We call on the regime in Iran to respect its people’s human rights.”
Protesters have taken to the streets in Iranian cities, expressing anger of worsening economic conditions.
Accurate information remains difficult to get, but media in Iran have reported that at least one protester was killed in the city of Karaj, about 50 kilometers west of Tehran, when someone fired a gun from a passing car.
Much of the economic difficulties are related to U.S. moves to increase financial and economic pressure on Tehran after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal and has begun reimposing sanctions.
The White House is set to detail new sanctions in an announcement on August 6, with currency restrictions to head the list.