Donald Trump warns Iran of not killing their own protesters
New Delhi : The US President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a warning to Iran against the killing of protesters who have been raising voice against the downing of a civilian airliner as his defense secretary left the door open to talks with Tehran without preconditions.
The statement from Trump came as Iran faced a challenge from the angry protests, that had almost came to the brink of war with the US after a series of tit-for-tat confrontations.
"To the leaders of Iran - DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS," Trump tweeted, warning that the world and "more importantly, the USA is watching."
Just hours before the tweet, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in an interview that Trump is ready to hold talks with Iran on no preconditions.
We're willing to sit down and discuss without precondition a new way forward, a series of steps by which Iran becomes a more normal country," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on CBS's "Face the Nation".
And if something happened to the protesters? Esper replied: "The president has drawn no preconditions other than to say we're willing to meet with the Iranian government."
Long term tension between the US and Iran had escalated on January 3 after a US drone killed a top Iranian commander, Qasem Soleimani, near Baghdad's airport.
Iran responded to the attack with attack on the US troops stationed in Iraq.
But hours later, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard unit shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet shortly after takeoff from Tehran.
The death of all 176 people aboard and Iran's belated admission its forces mistook the plane for a cruise missile has set off angry protests against the regime.