12 July 2020

Iran calls on US to 'stop violence' against its own people

'Let them breathe', foreign ministry spokesman tells US as protests seeking justice for George Floyd's death intensify.
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Remarks from Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Abbas Mousavi came as a senior Iranian lawmaker said that 230 people were killed and thousands injured in Iran's November protests - [File: Atta Kenare/AFP]

The Iranian foreign ministry has called on the United States to "stop violence" against its own people in the face of large protests sweeping the nation following the police killing in Minneapolis of another Black man.

"To the American people: the world has heard your outcry over the state of oppression. The world is standing with you," foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said at a news conference in Tehran on Monday.

"And to the American officials and police: stop violence against your people and let them breathe," he told reporters in English.

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets across the US in recent days to protest against police brutality and demand tougher, first-degree murder charges and more arrests over the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25.

Floyd died after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee on the handcuffed Black man's neck for nearly nine minutes, until he stopped breathing.

Chauvin has been fired and was charged with third-degree murder on May 29.

"We deeply regret to see the American people, who peacefully seek respect and no more violence, being suppressed indiscriminately and met with utmost violence," Mousavi told reporters in English.

He also accused the US, a longtime foe of Iran, of "practising violence and bullying at home and abroad". 

The sometimes violent protests in the US have received widespread coverage in Iranian media, especially on state television, which recently aired a programme accusing the US of institutional racism. [Source: Aljazeera]


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