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Trump calls for 'change' in Iran amid anti-government protests

Trump has been vocal on Twitter about the protests in Iran since they erupted [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 January, 2018

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US President Donald Trump has said it is 'time for change' in Iran, claiming the country's people are 'hungry' for freedom, after days of anti-government protests in the country.

US President Donald Trump said on Monday it is "time for change" in Iran and that the country's people are "hungry" for freedom, after days of deadly anti-government protests in the country.

"Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration," Trump tweeted, referring to the nuclear pact sealed under his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.

"The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!"

Trump has been vocal on Twitter about the protests in Iran since they erupted last week.

"The world is watching!" he said, reposting clips of his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in September.

"Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice," he tweeted, quoting from the speech.

But Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hit back, saying the US leader - whose "whole being is against the nation of Iran - had "no right" to sympathise with protesters.

Ten people were killed overnight in Iran, local media reported, bringing the death toll after four days of protests to 12.

The protests began on Thursday in Mashhad over economic issues and have since expanded to several cities, with hundreds of people being arrested.

While some in Iran have shared Trump's tweets, many distrust him over his refusal to re-certify the nuclear deal and his travel bans that have blocked Iranians from getting US visas.

Trump also began the New Year by sending an angry, early morning tweet criticising Pakistan.

"The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!" Trump tweeted.

It was not immediately clear why Trump opted to lash out at Pakistan.

The US has long accused Islamabad of allowing militants to operate relatively freely in Pakistan's border regions to carry out operations in neighboring Afghanistan.

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