Iranian diplomat charges US with inciting protests

US accused of ‘stepping up its acts of intervention in a grotesque way’ as deadly anti-government protests sweep Iran.

    Iran has accused the US of “inciting” anti-government protests that have gripped the country, and said the Trump administration had “flouted” international law and the principles of the UN charter by supporting the unrest in a series of “absurd tweets”.

    In a letter sent to Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, on Wednesday, Gholamali Khoshroo, the Iranian ambassador to the UN, said the US had “crossed every limit” by “inciting Iranians to engage in disruptive acts”.

    “[The US] has stepped up its acts of intervention in a grotesque way in Iran’s internal affairs under the pretext of providing support for sporadic protests, which in several instances were hijacked by infiltrators,” Press TV quoted Khoshroo as saying.

    He criticised US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence directly for their “numerous absurd tweets”, that called on Iranians to “change their government”.

    “The US Department of State went so far as admitting that the US government wants to encourage protesters in Iran to change their government, admitting that the US is engaged in interfering with the internal affairs of Iran through Facebook and Twitter,” Khoshroo said.

    The Trump administration is yet to respond to the letter.

    At least 22 people have died and more than 450 arrested since anti-government demonstrations erupted across Iran on December 28.

    The protests, which have focused on economic and political grievances, have been the largest display of public dissent since pro-reform rallies swept the country in 2009.

    Trump, who has banned Iranians from travelling to the US, praised the demonstrators for “finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime” in a tweet earlier this week, and warned that “the world is watching”.

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