US condemns Iran for fifth successive day
WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan24) – For the fifth time this week—five times in five successive days—US officials issued another strong criticism of Iran on Friday.
The repeated criticisms of Tehran underscore the shift in US policy that has occurred since the Biden administration took office in January 2021, when its top priority in the region was the renewal of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, concluded under former president Barack Obama, and which Donald Trump left in 2018.
The repeated US criticisms of Iran this past week come as concerns have risen over increasing Iranian support for Russia in its war in Ukraine.
US criticism of Iran on Friday focused on the regime’s suppression of the country-wide protests which were triggered more than three weeks ago by the death of the young Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, while detained by Tehran’s so-called “morality police.”
In those three weeks, over 400 demonstrators have been killed, according to the Iranian Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA.)
US Marks Anniversary of 2019 Protests
On Friday, State Department Deputy Spokesperson, Vedant Patel, in introductory statements that began his press briefing, marked the 2019 Iranian protests. Those protests started in mid-November and some 1,500 demonstrators were killed, before the regime managed to suppress them.
“While Iranians continue to peacefully protest in Iran, led by Iran’s women, girls, and students,” Patel stated, “I’d like to take a moment to commemorate the protests that took place in Iran three years ago.”
Patel likened the current situation to that of three years ago. “In November 2019, as now, security forces then used lethal force against protestors, and killed hundreds and detained thousands, all under the cover of weeks-long internet shutdowns,” he said. “The United States remembers the ‘Bloody November,’ and we mourn the loss of Iran’s innocent peaceful protestors.”
“Iran’s human rights abuses must not be without consequence,” Patel affirmed. “We continue to pursue unilateral action, multilateral measures, and UN mechanisms to hold Iranian authorities accountable for this flagrant denial of the Iranian people’s human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Increased Iranian Support for Russian War in Ukraine
In addition, national security concerns regarding Iran have increased significantly. Despite US and European protests, Iran has increased its support for Russia’s war in Ukraine, as ties between the two countries appear to grow closer.
“Moscow has quietly reached an agreement with Tehran to begin manufacturing hundreds of unmanned weaponized aircraft on Russian soil,” The Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing “new intelligence seen by U.S. and other Western security agencies.”
The agreement was finalized in Tehran early this month, the Post said, by “a team of Russian defense-industry negotiators who traveled to Tehran to work out the logistics,” while another delegation, led by the head of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, visited Tehran on Nov. 9.
State Department Spokesperson Ned Price criticized that at the time as “a deepening alliance” which “the entire world should view as a profound threat.”
On Saturday, speaking at a security conference in Bahrain, Britain’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly charged, “Iran’s rulers are spreading bloodshed and destruction across the region and as far away as Kiev,” as the BBC reported.
“Britain is determined to work alongside our friends to counter the Iranian threat, [prohibit] the smuggling of conventional arms, and prevent the regime from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability,” he affirmed, while speaking at the small island country, itself threatened by Iran.
In early September, Tehran renewed an old claim that Bahrain was properly an Iranian province, while also reasserting a claim to sovereignty over three UAE islands.