US President Donald Trump in a tweet urged the Iranian leaders to not kill their own citizens. He also warned Iran that the world and more importantly the US is watching its actions. The tweet came after Iran on Sunday deployed riot police in Tehran amid ongoing protests over plane carsh.
To the leaders of Iran - DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020
Protests in Iran broke out after its Revolutionary Guard admitted to accidentally shooting down a passenger plane at a time of soaring tensions with the United States. Riot police and plainclothes officers could be seen massing in Vali-e Asr Square in Tehran as calls circulated for protests later on Sunday. A large black banner unveiled in the square bore the names of those killed in the plane crash. The plane crash on early Wednesday killed all 176 people on board, mostly Iranians and Iranian-Canadians.
The plane was shot down as Iran braced for retaliation after firing ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq housing American forces. The ballistic missile attack, which caused no casualties, was a response to the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran's top general, in a US airstrike in Baghdad. Iranians have constantly expressed anger over the downing of the plane and the misleading explanations from senior officials in the wake of the tragedy. A candlelight ceremony late Saturday in Tehran turned into a protest, with hundreds of people chanting against the country's leaders — including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — and police dispersing them with tear gas.