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US, Israel lack understanding of Iranian people: Interior minister

Iranian students scuffle with police at the University of Tehran during a demonstration against economic problems in the capital, on December 30, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Iran's Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli says the US, Israel and the reactionary regimes of the region, which pretend to be supporting the rights of the Iranian people, lack a real understanding of the nation.

"Our enemies, especially those who have no standing in their countries and not been elected by people, have claimed to be supporting our people's rights in the past few days," he said on Sunday.

"The occupying Zionist regime, the reactionary regimes in the region and the US are gleefully turning over images in their faulty minds as if something were happening in Iran," Rahmani  Fazli  said.

"They have not recognized our people yet," he added. 

The remarks came in response to meddlesome statements made by American and Israeli officials following scattered protests against economic problems in some Iranian cities.

Trump took to Twitter to express support for the demonstrations, claiming that "the good people of Iran want change." 

"The Iranian government should respect their people's rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching!" he further tweeted.

Trump's remarks came shortly after he made outrageous and insulting comments about Iranians. 

In his speech on strategic review of US policy on Iran in October, Trump used “Arabian Gulf” to refer to the body of waters separating Iran and the regional Arab states, which is historically known as the Persian Gulf. 

Before his speech, Trump had called Iran a “terrorist nation.” He has also issued a travel ban against nationals of several Muslim-majority states, including Iran.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Saturday denounced Washington's "hypocritical and opportunist" support for the protests.

Meanwhile, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan claimed that the Iranian people were “bravely standing up" while Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi tweeted that Iranian protesters were "courageously risking their lives in the pursuit of freedom."

Elsewhere in his comments, Rahmani Fazli stressed that the situation will return to normal "with tolerance and deliberation," adding, "We are more determined than ever to respond to people's demands."

The demonstrators in the capital, Tehran, and other Iranian cities expressed their discontent with price hikes, unemployment and unauthorized credit institutions.

Government defends economic achievements

Speaking on a TV program on Saturday night, Iran's Government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht highlighted the administration's economic achievements.

He said that the government had allocated a remarkable amount of the budget to job creation and expected to create jobs for 830,000 people in the next Iranian year.

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