President Trump late Sunday tweeted in Farsi that a combination of protests and sanctions have “choked off” Iran and said Tehran will be forced to the negotiation table.
Trump insisted that he “couldn’t care less” if the regime negotiates, but he appeared to lay down non-negotiable issues that included the development of nuclear weapons and the use of deadly force against protesters.
“Don’t kill your protesters,” he tweeted.
The tweet in Farsi appears to be an attempt by Trump to speak directly to the Iranian people. Tehran has experienced upheaval after the missile strike on a Ukrainian airline flight out of the country’s capital that the country called a mistake. Still, the mishap was seen as an international display of military ineptitude.
Many of the country’s protesters chanted “death to the Dictator,” referring to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump, who says he is not interested in ousting the Iranian regime, reinstated economic sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from the deal. He said it gave Tehran too many economic benefits without doing enough to prevent Iran from eventually developing a nuclear weapon.
Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace division, said his unit accepts “full responsibility.” Iranian officials had earlier denied that it had shot down the jet.
Alam Saleh, an Iran expert, told the Wall Street Journal that the state’s legitimacy has been “severely challenged by the people.”
Trump, hours earlier, again warned Tehran not to kill protesters, saying, “Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching.”
“The important thing is that… the Iranian government needs to listen to its people and it needs to de-escalate the current situation… that’s in their hands,” Pierce said Sunday on “America’s News HQ.”
Fox News’ Yael Halon and the Associated Press contributed to this report
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