U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Iran was killing thousands of people for protesting and urged the world to take more notice.
Disturbances in Iran began in mid-November over gasoline price hikes but quickly turned political, with demonstrators demanding the removal of the top leaders of the country in what may be the biggest anti-government protests in the 40-year history of the Islamic Republic.
"Iran is killing perhaps thousands and thousands of people right now as we speak, that it why they cut off the internet so people can't see what is going on," Trump said during a visit to London for a NATO Summit.
"Not just small numbers which are bad, big numbers which are really bad, and really big numbers ... It is a terrible thing and the world has to be watching."
The New York Times reported Sunday on the brutal crackdown carried out against the protesters by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The Times reported on an incident in Mahshahr, a town populated by low-income members of Iran’s ethnic Arab minority. The report said that when the Guards arrived “they immediately shot without warning at dozens of men blocking the intersection, killing several on the spot, according to the residents interviewed by phone.”
The New York Times put the death toll across the country at between 180 and 450. International rights organizations, opposition groups and local journalists have reported that at least 2,000 people were wounded and 7,000 arrested during the government crackdown.
The Times continued “residents said the other protesters scrambled to a nearby marsh, and that one of them, apparently armed with an AK-47, fired back. The Guards immediately encircled the men and responded with machine gun fire, killing as many as 100 people, the residents said. The Guards piled the dead onto the back of a truck and departed, the residents said, and relatives of the wounded then transported them to Memko Hospital.”