Only Trump and Netanyahu support Iran protests: Turkey
Serkan Demirtaş - ANKARA
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has singled out United States President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the only leaders expressing support to the Iranian protesters, while rejecting any foreign intervention in Iran’s internal affairs.
“There are only two [world] figures who support protesters: Trump and Netanyahu. We are against such foreign interventions,” Çavuşoğlu told the Ankara bureau chiefs of media outlets at a meeting on Jan. 3.
“I have not seen any other world leader making such supportive statements,” he said.
Both Trump and Netanyahu have shown public support for the anti-regime demonstrations in Iran that have already left behind dozens dead.
“You may not like the regime but Iran’s president and government, apart from the [supreme] religious leader, can only be changed through elections. And there are no objections about the security of elections [in Iran],” Çavuşoğlu said.
Iran recently held elections and has elected President Hassan Rouhani for his second term as the head of the nation, the minister recalled, stressing that the people of Iran can change the leadership in the next elections if they are unhappy with its ruling.
Countries that criticize Iran need to be sincere and avoid double standards, he also underlined, obviously referring to the U.S. and Israel.
“If you say ‘Iran is against us, it is our enemy, therefore this regime is bad,’ then this is a double standard. A coup had been staged in Egypt and almost everyone had backed it. Were you not supposed to be against coups?” Çavuşoğlu stressed.
Iran’s stability important
Çavuşoğlu underlined the importance of Iran’s stability for the region, with wishes that this process would soon be accomplished in Iran. Hailing Ruhani’s statement that he would be open to engage in dialogue with peaceful demonstrators, Çavuşoğlu reiterated Turkey’s wish for Iran’s stability.
He also discussed his phone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Javed Zareef, who told him the situation in the country was not that bad and protests would fade within days.
The casualties had occurred because some armed groups had opened fire and had thrown Molotov cocktails, Çavuşoğlu said, citing Zareef.