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Roundup: Rouhani slams Trump's "meddlesome" remarks over Iran's protests

Xinhua,January 01, 2018 Adjust font size:

TEHRAN, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday criticized U.S. President Donald Trump for sympathizing the Iranian anti-government protesters, local media reported.

"This guy (Trump) who is trying today to sympathize with our people has forgotten that a few months ago he called the Iranian nation terrorist," Rouhani said in the cabinet meeting on Sunday.

"This guy who is against the Iranian nation from head to toe has no right to sympathize with them," Tehran Times daily quoted him as saying.

Over the past days, anti-government protests erupted in some Iranian major cities. In a number of cases, they turned into violence and clash between the protesters and police.

On Sunday, Hbibollah Khojasteh Pour, deputy governor of Iran's Lorestan province, confirmed that two people were killed overnight in western Iran in anti-government protests.

Khojasteh Pour said that the two people were killed in Dorood city of Lorestan province following the protest demonstrations in the city.

He blamed the foreign intelligence agencies for flaring up of the peaceful protest gathering of the people.

The videos posted on social media showed police trying to disperse the crowd by using tear gas and water cannons.

In a tweet on Friday, Trump made remarks about the recent protests in Iran and said the Iranian government should "respect their people's rights, including right to express themselves."

Iran's Foreign Ministry on Saturday also condemned U.S. "interference" in the country's internal affairs.

In a statement, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said that "meddling" remarks of the U.S. president and his support for recent protests in some Iranian cities are "opportunistic and deceitful."

On Sunday, Rouhani stressed that people should express their grievances in a way that would lead to better living conditions for citizens and investment in the country.

"Some of the economic problems of people date back to some years ago, while some others are related to the present day. The government and nation should join hands and help each other," said the Iranian president.

However, people's criticism does not pertain to the economy alone. People have things to say about corruption and transparency. They say things should be transparent," he said.

"People criticize that corruption should be fought more seriously, and why some issues are not disclosed to them properly. Criticism in the country's entire affairs is a right of the people and we believe that the government and country belong to people and people should be able to well express what they wish to," he said.

Rouhani stressed that criticism is different from violence and sabotage of public property. "We welcome criticism. And the related bodies should open way for people's legal criticism and protest and even demonstrations and congregation. This is a right of the people," he added.

Also, Qasemi on Sunday condemned a statement by the Canadian government about recent protests in Iran as a violation of international obligations of Canada and said it lacks any legal value.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran regards the meddlesome position of the Canadian government as a violation of the country's legal and international obligations," Qasemi was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

In a statement on Sunday, the Global Affairs Canada, which manages the country's diplomatic and consular relations, voiced its support for the recent protests in Iran. Enditem