In his first speech following the protest rallies in some Iranian cities over the past days, President Rouhani on Sunday criticized US President Donald Trump for his remarks about the recent demonstrations in Iran.
He said Trump, who is seeking to sympathize with Iranians these days, “has forgotten that he had called the Iranian nation ‘terrorists’ a few months ago.”
“The guy who is totally against the Iranian nation has no right to sympathize with Iranians,” President Rouhani said of Trump.
He further took a swipe at certain Arab governments in the region for celebrating the recent protests in Iran, saying the one or two Arab states which have been against the Islamic Republic in the past years have no right to sympathize with Iranians either.
The president further said people have the right to hold protests within the framework of law, but stressed that such rallies should not disrupt the lives of people and security, in a way that the enemies begin to rejoice at the events in Iran.
Some cities of Iran witnessed rallies over the past days in protest at price hikes and economic woes.
Police arrested a number of demonstrators who were trying to damage public property in the gatherings.
According to Article 27 of the Iranian Constitution, “public gatherings and marches are allowed so long as the participants do not carry arms and are not in violation of the fundamental principles of Islam.”
Following the civil rallies, some Western and Arab media outlets tried to portray the protests as a political uprising against the Establishment.
Iranian officials maintain that people have the right to stage protests to express their opinions, as long as the rallies comply with the legal conditions.
On Sunday, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said sporadic cases of vandalism and violation of citizenship rights have nothing to do with the peaceful demonstrations, praising the police and security forces for exercising self-restraint to counter violent measures.