Trump hails Iran protesters for not trampling US flag
U.S. President Donald Trump continued to praise Iranian protesters, this time for their reluctance to trample an American flag in a video footage that went viral a day earlier.
"Wow! The wonderful Iranian protesters refused to step on, or in any way denigrate, our Great American Flag. It was put on the street in order for them to trample it, and they walked around it instead. Big progress!" Trump tweeted.
On Jan. 12, hundreds of Iranians gathered on the streets of Iran on the second day of protests against the Iranian regime, prompted by the belated admission that it "accidentally" shut down a Ukrainian airliner last week, killing all 176 people on board.
A group of protesters who gathered outside a university in Tehran were seen in the video footage refusing to trample on large U.S. and Israeli flags that had been laid down in the path of the march.
Trump, for his part, thanked protesters for their respect to the American flag only, not mentioning the Israeli flag.
Trump tweets in Farsi to connect with Iranians
On Jan. 11, the U.S. president threw his support behind Iranian anti-government protesters, saying his administration always has stood with the "brave and long-suffering" people of Iran and would continue to do so.
"We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage," he said.
Trump also urged Tehran to let human rights groups monitor demonstrations.
"To the leaders of Iran - DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching," the president said separately on Twitter on Jan. 11.
"Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!" he added, posting the same messages in Farsi as well.
Trump also has been grilling the Democratic Party and the Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over their harsh criticism directed against him following the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike earlier in January.
Democrats and the main stream American media have accused Trump of abusing his war powers.
The Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution on Jan. 11 forcing Trump to seek congressional approval before taking any new military measures against Iran.
The mostly symbolic war powers resolution was approved after nearly all House Democrats were joined by three Republicans and one independent lawmaker to vote 224-194 in favor of the measure.
The vote took place almost a week after Trump, a Republican, signed off on a U.S. drone strike in Iraq that killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' Quds Force, and brought Iran and the U.S. closer to an all-out war than at any time since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Trump, however, has continued to defend his targeting of Soleimani, saying on Jan. 12 the "Democrats and the Fake News are trying to make terrorist Soleimani into a wonderful guy, only because I did what should have been done for 20 years."
"Anything I do, whether it's the economy, military, or anything else, will be scorned by the Rafical Left, Do Nothing Democrats!," he added.
Conservative base wants regime change
Although the Trump administration has repeatedly said they are not after regime change in Iran, the conservative base that supports Trump already comes up with recommendations and "simple steps to help bring about regime change" in the oil-rich country.
In article published at the online news source Conservative HQ on Jan. 12, -- Now Is The Time To Win The War With Iran-- editor-in-chief George Rasley said there are four immediate steps the U.S. could take to overthrow the Iranian regime.
"Pump-up the power and content of Farsi language programing through radio and TV, especially satellite TV, making it clear that we stand with the people of Iran in their quest for liberty," said Rasley and continued:
"Pump-up the power and content of our Farsi language social media communications with the people of Iran and integrate them with radio and TV messages proposed above."
He also urged Trump administration to "Use clandestine means to deliver cellphones, satellite phones, radios and laptops to Iranian dissidents to that they can communicate with each other outside of government channels."
"Create online and on-air communications channels that dissidents can access to communicate outside of the Iranian government channels, for example digital radio channels could provide Iranians with news, entertainment and information on protest locations," Rasley added.