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Trump stands in solidarity with Iranian protestors, condemns arrest of British envoy

An Iranian lights candles for the victims of Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 during a gathering in front of the Amirkabir University in the capital Tehran, on January 11, 2020. - Iran said it "unintentionally" shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing all 176 people aboard, in an abrupt about-turn after initially denying Western claims it was struck by a missile. 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". (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

12.1.2020

President Donald on Saturday said he stands in solidarity with the thousands of Iranian protesters who over the weekend after the Islamic Republic admitted it had accidentally shot down a Ukraine-bound airliner, killing all 176 people on board.

In his usual manner, the president took to Twitter to deliver the message.

“To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I’ve stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage,”

In a second tweet shortly after, Trump urged Tehran to “allow human rights groups to monitor and report facts from the ground on the ongoing protests by the Iranian people.”

“There can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown. The world is watching,” he added.

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

The government of Iran must allow human rights groups to monitor and report facts from the ground on the ongoing protests by the Iranian people. There can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown. The world is watching.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also tweeted his support alongside a video of what appeared to be protesters in Iran.

“The voice of the Iranian people is clear. They are fed up with the regime’s lies, corruption, ineptitude, and brutality of the IRGC under @khamenei_ir’s kleptocracy. We stand with the Iranian people who deserve a better future,” he wrote.

Also on Saturday, the United States urged Iran to issue an apology for briefly detaining the British ambassador to Tehran, Rob Macaire, who was accused of inciting protests against the government at Amirkabir University.

“The Iranian regime arrested the British ambassador to Iran. This violates the Vienna Convention, which the regime has a notorious history of violating. We call on the regime to formally apologize to the UK for violating his rights and to respect the rights of all diplomats,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus tweeted.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Foreign Office denounced the arrest as a “flagrant violation of international law.”

“The arrest of our Ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement.

“The Iranian government is at a crossroads moment. It can continue its march towards pariah status with all the political and economic isolation that entails, or take steps to de-escalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forward,” Raab added.

It is not clear who he was arrested by, however, he is said to be “safe and well” in the British embassy after being released “a few hours later” Tasnim news agency reports. Macaire will be summoned on Monday for further explanations, they added.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Tehran on Saturday with renewed strength after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard acknowledged that it accidentally shot down the Ukrainian jetliner bound for Kiev early Wednesday, killing at least 130 Iranian citizens and the foreign nationals on board.

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