President Donald Trump urged the news media to get inside Iran and monitor the situation, in which the Islamic regime is reportedly killing scores of people protesting its policies.
“Iran is killing perhaps thousands and thousands of people right now as we speak,” Trump said on Dec. 3 during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in London.
“Thats why they cut off the internet. So they cut off the internet so people cant see whats going on,” Trump said.
“And, frankly, I dont know how you get in there, I dont know how you do your business, but the press ought to get in there, see whats going on.”
At least 208 people are believed to have been killed during anti-government demonstrations in Iran, Amnesty International reported on Dec. 2.
“Extensive video footage” showed the regimes “security forces shooting at unarmed protesters,” the report stated.
The death toll is based on “credible reports” the human rights nonprofit gathered from sources inside and outside Iran, including victims relatives, journalists, and human rights activists.
“The real figure is likely to be higher,” the report stated.
Widespread protests broke out in Iran on Nov. 15 after authorities announced a new petrol-rationing scheme that would see gasoline prices raised up to 50 percent.
It also means private vehicles are now restricted to 16 gallons of fuel monthly, while any fuel purchases in excess of this limit will incur an additional charge of $0.98 per gallon.
Authorities said the new scheme aims to redistribute money to the countrys neediest citizens, however, it quickly faced backlash from citizens throughout the country who took to the streets to call for an end to the Islamic Republics government.
The regime acknowledged on Nov. 27 that 200,000 took part in the protests and 7,000 were arrested, marking possibly the largest anti-government demonstrations in the regimes 40-year history.
The regime blamed “thugs” for the protests, saying hundreds of banks, gas stations, and sites used by government and security forces were attacked or torched.
Irans Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggested the protests were the work of a “very dangerous conspiracy that a lot of money had been spent on.”
Irans Intelligence Ministry said eight people linked to the CIA were arrested, six of whom participated in the protests and two tried to send information abroad.
“These elements had received CIA-funded training in various countries under the cover of becoming citizen-journalists,” the state news agency IRNA quoted the ministry as saying.
Iran is one of the worlds most repressive countries for journalists, according to the nonprofit Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
“State control of news and information is unrelenting and at least 860 journalists and citizen-journalists have been imprisoned or executed since 1979,” RSF states on its website.
Private citizens are banned from forming news media in the country, and all the news is controlled by the regime. Still, Farsi-speaking foreign media, including the U.S.-government-funded Radio Farda and Voice of America are popular among Iranians, a fact decried in 2018 by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Farda reported.
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