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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 July 2018

Iran FM echoes Pompeo in Twitter rebuttal over protests

After Mr Pompeo condemned the actions of Iran after recent protests, Mr Zarif did the same

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) invites his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) to have a seat during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, 14 May 2018. Reprosts state that the Iranian Foreign Minister is on a working visit to Moscow. EPA/MAXIM SHEMETOV / POOL
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) invites his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) to have a seat during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, 14 May 2018. Reprosts state that the Iranian Foreign Minister is on a working visit to Moscow. EPA/MAXIM SHEMETOV / POOL

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has hit back at US secretary of state Mike Pompeo over his statement on recent protests in Tehran, sharing a statement on the US mimicking Mr Pompeo.

“Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones," Mr Zarif tweeted, followed by a statement lamenting successive US administrations' “wasteful adventurism” in Iraq and Afghanistan, blind support of Israel, the American president’s policies on migrants.

Mr Zarif was responding to a statement earlier in the day from the Secretary of State regarding recent economic protests in Iran. In recent days, numerous protests have broken out in Tehran as many people – including traders and merchants from the Grand Bazaar – expressed anger at a deteriorating economic situation. The Iranian Riyal has dropped from nearly 40,000 to the US dollar a year ago to just under 90,000 today.

"The people of Iran are tired of the corruption, injustice, and incompetence from their leaders," Mr Pompeo said in a statement. "We condemn the government’s same futile tactics of suppression, imprisonment of protestors, and the denial of Iranians’ frustrations."

Mr Pompeo signed off his tweet on Iranian protests with the line, “The world hears their voice.”

Mr Zarif’s statement echoed many of the same lines as Mr Pompeo’s, flipping his points to highlight troubles in the US.

“It should surprise no one that protests continue in the US; at the border, at prisons, and in Washington DC and all 50 states this weekend,” the Iranian official’s statement said. “The American people are demanding their leaders share the county’s and respond to their legitimate needs so that 40 million Americans won’t live below the poverty line in the world’s richest nation.”

He condemned the US government’s “imprisonment of protesters, separation of immigrant families and caging of babies,” in a reference to recent anger at Mr Trump’s policy of separating families who are detained for arriving overland in the US without visas.

“The people of the United States are tired of the corruption, injustice and incompetence from their leaders,” he said before copying Mr Pompeo’s signoff: “The world hears their voice”.

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More on Iran and US protests

Behind Iran protests, analysts see hardliner effort to oust Rouhani

Trump signs executive order ending process of separating migrant children from families

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