President Donald Trump said Tuesday that “the U.S. is watching” ongoing anti-government demonstrations in Iran, blaming the nuclear deal struck with the support of former President Barack Obama for lining the pockets of the Iranian government.
“The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their ‘pockets,’” the president wrote on Twitter. “The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!”
Tuesday marked the sixth day of protests in Iran, where a flagging economy and an uptick in food prices have prompted demonstrators to chant anti-government slogans.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that at least nine people had been killed overnight, including a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, raising the overall death toll from the protests to at least 20.
In Tehran, the Iranian capital, 450 protesters have been arrested since demonstrations began, the AP reported.
Trump’s Tuesday tweet echoed similar sentiments he has expressed online over the last three days, slamming the Iranian government. He has long been critical of the landmark nuclear deal negotiated in part by the Obama administration, taking steps last year to imperil it without fully making good on his campaign promise to remove the U.S. from it entirely.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hinted that outside influence may be playing a role in the unrest in his nation, suggesting via a statement on his official website that “in the recent days’ incidents, enemies of Iran utilized various means — including money, weapon, politics and intelligence apparatuses — to create problems for the Islamic system.”