“The world has heard your outcry over the State oppression. The world is standing with you,” ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told a press conference in Tehran on Monday, addressing the American people.
“The American regime is pursuing violence and bullying at home and abroad. We are greatly regretful to see, along with people across the world, the violence that the US police have recently unfolded,” he remarked in an English-language statement that opened the presser.
“We deeply regret to see the American people, who peacefully seek respect and no more violence, being suppressed indiscriminately and met with utmost violence,” the official added.
“Stop violence against your people and let them breathe,” the Iranian spokesman added, addressing the US government.
The remarks came as angry protests are spreading across the United States following the recent choking to death of unarmed African American George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
Police have responded with teargas canisters and rubber bullets to the protests that have so far engulfed at least 30 US cities. Minnesota, where the murder took place, has even activated the National Guard against the protesters in a rare move.
Mousavi said the protests were the result of years-long suppression of Americans and their voices, adding, “It is natural that the American people have had enough and risen in protest.”
He, however, urged the American officials and police against further deployment of violence against the country’s people and asked them to stop restricting their freedoms.
Venezuela exports ‘legitimate’ practice
Separately, Mousavi addressed Iran’s shipment of fuel to Venezuela in the face of the US sanctions targeting Tehran and Caracas, calling the shipments a “legitimate trade” that both countries were entitled to.
The exports, he said, showed that Iran is entitled to defend its rights even far away from its borders.
He denounced US sanctions as unilateral measures that no country is obliged to heed.
Washington has said it was considering “measures” in response to the exports, which have seen the Islamic Republic shipping some 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and refining components to the Latin American country.
The shipments have been underway using five tankers, four of which have entered Venezuela’s territorial waters. Tehran has vowed to retaliate against any attempt by Washington to interfere in the process.
Iran not restricted in buying arms
As an independent country, Iran is entitled to engage in arms trade, the official added, addressing the prospect of removal of an arms embargo against the country.
The embargo on sales of conventional weapons to the Islamic Republic will expire in October under the country’s 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers.
The US that has left the deal has, however, said it would try to have the ban extended. Iran has noted that the US is legally prohibited from doing so due to its departure from the nuclear deal, and pledged to serve any such attempt on the part of Washington with a decisive response.
Upon removal of the embargo, Iran would start trading in arms with the countries that it sees fit, Mousavi said. “It will make no difference whether [the trading partner is] Russia, China or neighboring and friendly countries. We will act based on the norms of the market, and will not be bound by any restriction,” he added.