President Joe Biden pledged to “free Iran” in a campaign speech in California Thursday as anti-regime protests continued throughout the country, according to news reports.
Protests began sweeping across Iran in September as outrage over the killing of a young girl by morality police grew to encompass calls for the collapse of the autocratic regime, and have not abated. The Biden administration has spoken out in solidarity with the protesters and issued a sew of sanctions against regime officials over their involvement in the brutal crackdowns against the protesters, CNN reported.
“Don’t worry, we’re gonna free Iran,” Biden said in off-hand remarks after a rally for Democratic Rep. Mike Levin of California, when Iran supporters appeared to press him for remarks, NBC News reported. (RELATED: US, Saudi Arabia On Alert After Warnings Of Iranian Attack: REPORT)
“They’re gonna free themselves pretty soon,” Biden added, apparently in reference to the Iranian people and the scale of the uprisings, NBC reported.
However, U.S. policy toward Iran “is not one of regime change instigated from Washington,” Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley told CCN in late October.
“Form of government in Iran will be up to the Iranians to decide. Our position, which is very clear, is we support the fundamental human rights of ordinary Iranian women and men and that is our policy,” Malley added, according to CNN.
Biden’s remarks came as the Iranian regime celebrated the anniversary of the 1979 revolution that instated the theocratic government and drew sharp rebuke from the Islamic leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, The Associated Press reported.
“Mr. President! Iran was liberated 43 years ago, and it’s determined not to become your captive again. We will never become a milking cow,” Raisi said, according to the AP.
.@SecBlinken on the protests in Iran: This is grassroots. This is bottom up. This is a reflection of huge frustration and huge anger that so many in Iranian society have toward the direction of their country and toward their leadership. pic.twitter.com/Oze4Ro11vv
— Department of State (@StateDept) October 23, 2022
Biden did not clarify whether or how the U.S. would take further action to promote freedom for the Iranian people, NBC reported.
The Biden administration on Wednesday spearheaded a call in the United Nations to remove Iran from the organization’s women’s rights commission, where it had won a four-year term in 2022, Reuters reported.
“All people in Iran must have the right to freedom of expression and assembly, and Iran must end its use of violence against its own citizens simply for exercising their fundamental freedoms,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a statement Wednesday. “We will continue to hold accountable the Iranian officials and entities responsible for the violence against protesters.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. sanctioned the intelligence head of Iran’s paramilitary force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as well as other IRCG leaders, prison officials and hackers related to the crackdown on protesters, according to CNN. Many demonstrators have been shot, harassed and imprisoned, while the regime has also strategically disrupted internet communications to thwart efforts to organize protests, CNN reported.
The U.S. previously sanctioned Iran’s morality police in September.
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