US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus stands at the lectern during a press conference at the US Department of State in Washington, DC on June 10, 2019. (AFP)

November 18, 2019

The US State Department criticized the Iranian regime’s treatments of its people amid nationwide protests against the government’s decision to hike the price of gasoline.

Morgan Ortagus, spokesperson of the US State Department said in an interview with Al Hadath on Sunday that the “Iranian government is looking for a scapegoat and a reason for these protests, but there is no one to blame for the actions other than the regime itself.”

Ortagus said that the US administration sees more to the protests than the fuel price hike.

“We think it is much bigger than that, if you look on what has gone on in Iran the past several years, the Iranian people are quite smart, and they know that the regime got billions of dollars since sanctions were relieved under the JCPOA, that money did not go to funding new schools, new hospitals, improved roads or improved lives of its citizens, instead the money was sent to terrorist proxies that Iran deploys around the Middle East,” said Ortagus.

She added that the protests across Iran echo “the frustration” of the Iranian people as the regime puts foreign policy “ahead of the needs of their own people.”

Condemning the shutting down of Internet services by the Iranian government, Ortagus said this action “shows a striking lack of respect for their own people and shows that the regime is quite scared of their own people. They are scared of the Iranian people having their voice be heard.”

She said “this shows a great amount of insecurity by the regime to cut off the internet” reiterating the US administration’s call for the regime to “turn the internet back on.”

Al Arabiya

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.