President Trump doubled down on his support for Iranian protesters Wednesday morning, assuring that at the “appropriate time” they would see aid from the United States.
“Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!” Trump tweeted.
The president initially posted a tweet that described Iran as a “corrupt and poorly run country,” but then deleted the tweet, changing his statement to “corrupt government,” as opposed to the country as a whole.
Protests have rocked the Islamic Republic for nearly a week, leaving at least 21 people dead. At least 450 have been arrested in protests that have spread from Tehran to cities throughout the Muslim nation, the semi-official ILNA news agency reported.
The Iranian regime has moved to squash protests by cutting off communication and moving to block social media platforms, as it did nine years ago during the “Green Movement” of 2009.
The State Department announced Tuesday that it would use Facebook and Twitter to communicate directly with Iranian protesters, posting in Farsi on the social media platforms.
The decision to do so came after the Iranian government shut off access to Instagram as well as Telegram, a popular messaging app used by activists to organize demonstrations.
In 2009, the Iranian regime did the same, as the nation was rocked by protests and restricted social media platforms.
Unlike the Obama administration’s response to that movement, which stood largely silent amid those protests, the Trump administration is openly supporting pro-democracy demonstrations.
The president has repeatedly issued tweets of support, noting that “The U.S. is watching.”
Other officials, like U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, urged the international community to join in on the administration’s efforts.
“We must not be silent,” Haley said Tuesday. “The people of Iran are crying out for freedom. All freedom-loving people must stand with their cause.”
The Trump administration has said it is preparing to impose new sanctions on the regime if it attempts to use force to end the demonstrations. The sanctions would be in response to any human-rights violations.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Tuesday that Trump supported sanctions, but that no final decision has been made.
Fox News' Kristin Brown contributed to this report.