“A regime that hinders the delivery of food and medicine to ordinary [Iranian] people — including the elderly and the patients — through economic terrorism [tactics] can never claim support for the Iranian people in such a disgraceful way,” Zarif said on Monday evening.
The top Iranian diplomat was reacting to the recent interventionist comments made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding the recent wave of unrest in Iran triggered by a hike in petrol prices.
US supports anarchists, not Iranian people: SpokesmanIran says the US is not sympathetic toward the Iranian people, but supports spread of chaos.
On Friday, Iran began rationing gasoline and substantially increased the price of fuel, saying the revenue would be used to assist the needy.
The decision sparked rallies in a number of Iranian cities, some of which were marred by violence as opportunist elements tried to exploit the peaceful protests against hiking fuel prices.
Consequently, the demonstrations turned violent in some cities, with reports of clashes between security forces and certain elements, who vandalized public property and, on several occasions, opened fire on the crowd.
There have been reports of fatalities among both security forces and civilians amid the unrest that followed the protests against the government’s recent economic reforms.
Iranians entitled to protest, insecurity not tolerated: President RouhaniIran
When the riots broke out, Pompeo was quick to take to Twitter, supporting the violent acts of rioters, whom he described as “the people of Iran.”
“As I said to the people of Iran almost a year and a half ago: The United States is with you,” he said.
Zarif further said, “Mr. Pompeo must first be responsible for [Washington’s] declared acts of terrorism and crimes against humanity against the Iranian people.”
The top Iranian diplomat likewise warned certain European states against making meddlesome comments about the recent riots in Iran.
“The countries that have failed to show their ability and will [to stand] against America’s economic terrorism” against Iran are now attempting to “cover up their failure by supporting the riots both politically and on the field to disrupt public order,” said Zarif, warning that those governments “will be responsible for all the consequences of their dangerous provocations.”
He was apparently referring to recent remarks by French and German officials, who have called on Tehran to respect what they called the Iranians’ “legitimate” right to protest.
The two European countries are signatories to a 2015 multinational nuclear deal, whose fate remains in doubt after the US’s withdrawal last year.
Iran is currently involved in a diplomatic dispute with the remaining European parties to the deal — France, Germany and the UK — over the trio’s failure to compensate for the US’s exit and shield the Iranian economy against the harsh economic sanctions that Washington reinstated after abandoning the agreement.