The US is right to support Iranian protesters

American support embodies values of democracy and freedom worldwide


U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley (creative commons)

Protests started on December 28 and have continued for at least a week throughout Iran. Angry with a slow economy and low employment rate, protesters gathered for the largest anti-government rallies in Iran since the 2009 Green Movement. The 2009 protests were sparked over an allegedly stolen election.

“The nuclear deal is overwhelmingly supported by the Iranian public, but there was an expectation that much more economic development would come out of it,” said Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council.

Protesters expected the economy to pick up after the Iran Nuclear deal, but they have been largely disappointed. The lifting of sanctions has not translated into a better economy or more jobs for the Iranian people, and they are angry. They are also sick of corruption in government.

“Let there be no doubt whatsoever the United States stands unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves,” said American ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley.

United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley (creative commons)

Americans remain divided over the appropriate response to the Iranian protests. Some worry that American support may lead to harsher punishment for the protesters. The Trump administrations has come out publicly in favor of the protesters and in support of freedom.

“The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food and freedom” President Trump tweeted on January first.

President Trump and his administration have also been quick to point out how the Iran nuclear deal has failed the people of Iran. The nuclear deal lifted sanctions on Iran and left Iran with more money. Despite this economic favor, protesters still feel the economy is in bad shape. Trump has criticized the Iran nuclear deal even before the recent Iranian protests.

Hillary Clinton has said that her biggest regret as Secretary of State is not offering stronger support of the Iranian protesters in 2009.

The United States must be strong in confronting the oppression and corruption of the theocratic Iranian government. The US must speak out for human rights, especially women in Iran. The US is right to support the Iranian protesters. When the United States declares their support for the protests, it brings hope. These protests may not ultimately be successful, but the Iranian people must know that the US stands for their freedom and will work to achieve human rights for all. Supporting the protesters sends a message to the world that the US is no longer willing to put up with the corruption of the Iranian officials. This message is longer overdue and should bring hope to the entire world.

At least 20 people have been killed in the protests and hundreds have been arrested. For the sake of freedom, the United States should stand with the protesters against the corrupt government of Iran.