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Zarif: Trump’s disrespect for Iranians belies his ‘support’ offer

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says US President Donald Trump’s moves against the Iranian people belie his recent claim that he “supports” them.

According to Press TV, Trump posted a comment on his Twitter account on Wednesday, expressing his “respect” for the Iranians participating in protests in some cities of the country, claiming that the US will provide “great support” to them “at the appropriate time.”

His claim came after protesters took to streets in a number of Iranian cities starting last Thursday to show their disgruntlement at rising prices and economic conditions in the country.

The protests soon took a violent turn as rioters, who were later revealed to have been fed by foreign intelligence agencies, entered the scene and caused sporadic violence in some Iranian towns and cities for several days.

Zarif took to Twitter on Thursday to condemn Trump’s claim of support for the Iranian people, saying “Trump has an odd way of showing ‘such respect’ for Iranians: from labeling them a ‘terrorist nation’ & banning them from visiting the US, to petty insults on the name of the Persian Gulf.”

He noted that measures taken by the Trump administration vis-à-vis Iran’s nuclear deal with the 5+1 group, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and depriving the Iranian people of the deal’s economic benefits further belie Trump’s claim.

On October 13, 2016, Trump called Iran “a terrorist nation” during a speech on strategic review of US policy on Iran in Washington, just hours before he was expected to say Iran was not complying with the JCPOA.

He also called the Persian Gulf the “Arabian Gulf.” Shortly after the speech, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged the US president to brush up on his world history and geography to improve his comprehension of international obligations and global civility, etiquette and conventions.

The nuclear deal between Tehran and the 5+1 group put limits on certain parts of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the removal of all nuclear-related sanctions. However, Trump has refused to keep his end of the bargain.

Recently, Andrew Peek, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran, said that White House was weighing a reaction to the recent wave of unrests in the country.