Trump retracts saying US does not back Iran protesters

‘The United States of America supports the brave people of Iran who are protesting for their FREEDOM,’ says Trump


U.S. President Donald Trump carried out a quick about-face Tuesday after saying Washington does not support Iran’s protesters.

“I don’t want to comment on that but the answer is no ,” he said in response to questions by reporters in London if Washington supports the demonstrators.

He was speaking during a bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron during a conference with NATO leaders.

The U.S. president then quickly took to Twitter where he sought to backtrack on his remarks, saying “The United States of America supports the brave people of Iran who are protesting for their FREEDOM.”

“We have under the Trump Administration, and always will!” he said.

Demonstrations broke out across Iran on Nov. 15 after the government imposed petrol rationing and raised fuel prices by at least 50%.

Over 2,000 people have been arrested during the demonstrations, Tehran governor Anoushirvan Mohseni-Bandpey said Tuesday.

While Iranian authorities have not publicly acknowledged any deaths from the protests, Amnesty International said at least 208 protesters have been killed.

Amnesty called its calculation “shocking,” and Philip Luther, its Middle East research director, said it “displays the Iranian authorities’ shameful disregard for human life.”

He said Iranian authorities are unwilling to carry out “independent, impartial and effective investigations” into violence against protesters.

According to Luther’s organization, the death toll might be higher than its estimate, and Amnesty said victim’s families were intimidated into not speaking to the media, and were barred from holding funeral ceremonies.

“Extensive video footage verified and analysed by Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps shows security forces shooting at unarmed protesters,” it said.

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