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Moscow on Pompeo's Remark on 'Support' of Iranians: US Doing Everything Possible for Them to Suffer

© REUTERS / WANA NEWS AGENCYPeople stop their cars in a highway to show their protest for increased gas price in Tehran, Iran November 16, 2019
People stop their cars in a highway to show their protest for increased gas price in Tehran, Iran November 16, 2019 - Sputnik International
The US secretary of state has expressed support for the protesters in Iran, who took to the streets across the country following the government's decision to raise fuel prices and introduce quotas.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has slammed the recent comments by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the Iranian protests as "hypocritical", adding that Washington is one of the reasons that the country's population is suffering from economic woes.

"[The statement by Mike Pompeo] left us puzzled since most of the things that sparked the discontent and other processes that are taking place in Iran were actually brought upon the Islamic Republic by the US’ own actions", the spokeswoman said.

Zakharova noted that Tehran’s decision to raise fuel prices, which sparked the country-wide protests, was a result of the "illegal and massive sanctions pressure" that the US is applying against Iran. She added that the Iranian population's rights to receive food, medication, and other necessities have been violated due to Washington's actions.

"The way we see it – this was the US' goal all along, when they decided to initiate the policy of sanctions pressure against Iran. It turns out that, on the one hand, Washington supports the aspirations of the Iranian people, at least verbally, and on the other hand, they are doing anything possible to make the population of this country suffer", she said.

Pompeo's Remarks on Iranian Protests

Following reports of clashes between police and protesters in Iranian cities, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo posted a tweet in which he claimed that the "US is with" the Iranian people. His comment was met with criticism from Iranian authorities, with the country's Foreign Ministry calling it a "curious" message amid the "pressure of America’s economic terrorism".

In this picture taken  April 9, 2009  the  exterior view of Iran's Uranium Conversion Facility  outside the city of Isfahan, 255 miles (410 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran is photographed. Iran is lagging behind on equipping a bunker with machines enriching uranium to a grade that can be turned quickly to arm nuclear warheads and now says will produce less at the site than originally planned, diplomats tell The Associated Press.  The diplomats said that Iranian officials recently told the International Atomic Energy Agency that half of the approximately 1,000 centrifuges to be installed at the underground Fordow site will churn out uranium enriched to near 20 percent, while the rest will produce low-enriched material at around 3.5 percent. - Sputnik International
Iranian President Rouhani Slams US' Sanctions on Iran as Violation of International Norms

The protests erupted soon after the Iranian government announced a rise in fuel prices by up to 50 percent on 15 November and the introduction of quotas on gas, along with additional taxes on buying fuel in excess of the limitations. The measures are supposed to free up some cash to help low-income families as the Iranian economy suffers from the consequences of American sanctions, according to the government.

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