On Wednesday, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami echoed his boss, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, by threatening the United States for allegedly meddling in protests against the theocratic, despotic regime in Iran.
Hatami boasted, “Iran has always proved that, as an independent country, it will not put up with such malicious conduct. What the Leader of the Islamic Revolution highlighted is the experience the U.S. has gone through several times. Whenever they caused any damage to our country, they received our categorical comeback and had to bear the consequences and this time will be no exception.”
Khamenei, whose death had been called for by protesters, ranted against the U.S. on Tuesday, “In these few days Iran suffered damage; this will not go unavenged,”
President Trump, along with other members of his administration, has offered vocal support for the Iranian protesters; on December 29, the State Department released a blistering statement in which it wrote, “Iran’s leaders have turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos.” The State Department followed by openly supporting Iranians’ access to social media, while the regime was shutting down Telegram and Whatsapp:
Ironically for the regime, shutting down social media was hitting them where it mattered, economically. On January 2 Communications Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi admitted, “I apologize to those businesses and for those who have been financially affected. When peace returns, those [restrictions] will be lifted.” On January 8, Solmaz Sadeghnia, deputy president of Iran's Association for Online Commerce (AOC), added, "Around half a million online businesses, including several high-tech companies, have been suspended due to the filtering.”