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Israel, US back Iran protests: Turkish FM

ANKARA
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said Israel and the U.S. are the only countries supporting ongoing protests in Iran.
In remarks made during a meeting with media representatives in capital Ankara on Wednesday, Cavusoglu spoke about the world leaders backing Iranian protests.
He drew attention to two people openly supporting the unrest in Iran.
“One of them is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the other is the U.S. President Donald Trump.”
The foreign minister said Turkey was always against those kinds of external interventions and added that all countries except for Netanyahu and Trump were being “cautious” in the face of protests in Iran.
He termed the ongoing protests in Iran an “internal” matter of the neighboring country.
“This situation is internal affairs of Iran. But, the stability [of Iran] is also important for its neighbors.
“It is significant for all of us.
“We wish for these conflicts in Iran to come to an end and stability to be recovered immediately.”
Last Thursday, Iranians took to the streets in the northeastern cities of Mashhad and Kashmar to protest rising inflation and perceived government mismanagement, according to local media reports.
These protests were followed on Saturday and Wednesday by large demonstrations in support of the government.
Since the demonstrations began six days back, at least 23 people have been killed — including a police officer — while hundreds more have reportedly been detained.
Cavusoglu said Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif told him that the situation in Iran was not so bad.
He recalled Zarif as saying that Tehran was taking a careful stance against these protesters but “there are some groups with weapons, blades and Molotov bombs in their hands who caused some civilians and security personnel to be killed during random shootings.”
Cavusoglu highlighted that Iran was not against peaceful solutions and a dialogue process.
“They say Iran is not using the iron fist of the state.”
He also said any change in Iran should come through elections. “So, if there were to be a change in government, Iranian people could make it happen in the next elections.”
The foreign minister emphasized that countries criticizing Iran should be “sincere” and refrain from “double standards.”
Cavusoglu criticized the double standards of certain countries regarding Iranian protests and cited the example of how some countries gave their full support to the military coup in Egypt.
“There is praise for them [Egypt] in other countries, but there is criticism against Iran and regime there, as well as external intervention,” he said.
“Our wish is that this process comes to an end immediately. We find Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s statements positive.”
About the call of U.S. envoy to the UN Nikki Haley on Wednesday for a UN Security Council meeting on Iran protests, Cavusoglu said the U.S. brought this to the international arena because “they are strongly opposed to the Iranian administration.”



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