On Sunday evening, President Donald J. Trump took to Twitter to slam the Iranian government and to remind the world that the Islamic Republic is the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism, something President Obama's State Department reported in 2016.
Indeed, President Trump is correct. A 2016 State Department annual report said Iran “remained the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in 2015, providing a range of support, including financial, training, and equipment, to groups around the world." The report also said that Iran was providing arms and cash to terrorist groups like Hezbollah, notes CNN.
That report came after then Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that some of the money provided via economic sanctions relief to Iran - nearly $150 billion – would end up in the hands of terrorists. "I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists," he said in the interview in Davos, referring to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. "You know, to some degree, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented."
Today after various economic sanctions relief funds were supposed to help the people of Iran, thousands in the middle eastern country struggle in poverty. This economic hardship was the original impetus for the beginning of the protests and demonstrations this weekend, but it quickly became a movement against the Islamic Regime as well as Iran’s President Rouhani.
Some in the media have attempted to label Rouhani as a moderate. For example, Erin Cunningham of the Washington Post said, “After a night of escalating unrest saw attacks on government buildings and violent confrontations with police, the moderate president, reelected to a second term in May, took a conciliatory tone.” That statement occurred as two protesters were killed, the country stopped certain internet access, and hundreds of protesters chanted “Death to Rouhani.”
In May 2017, the Washington Times noted just how much of a moderate Rouhani actually is saying, “Since Mr. Rouhani’s “moderate” presidency, executions in Iran have proliferated, usually at grisly public hangings. There were 360 executions in 2011, according to Amnesty International, and by 2014, the number had soared to 734. The U.N. special reporter for human rights put the number of executions in 2015 at 966. Mr. Rouhani’s hangmen rested in 2016, relatively speaking, with only 567 executions. Moderation ends where the noose begins.”
The facts are that the Iranian government is an oppressive regime whose people have suffered and are now fighting back against. President Donald J. Trump's bold proclamations on Twitter are a welcoming voice for freedom to these protesters after years of President Barack Obama's haphazard "support" for these innocent citizens yearning for freedom.