As Iran was rocked by a fourth day of protests, officials responded ambiguously by attempting to both co-opt the economic grievances of the demonstrators and promising to confront those who cause damage to property.
President Hassan Rouhani finally addressed the protests during a Cabinet meeting. He conceded that Iranians were right in their protests against not only the economy but also on corruption and transparency. However, he said the administration would not tolerate rioting or destruction of property. Rouhani also dismissed US President Donald Trump’s statements in support of the protests, saying that months ago Trump had referred to Iran as a “terrorist nation.” Rouhani also thanked the officials and security forces who did not confront protesters with violence and who showed restraint. Rouhani said that people should have a space to voice their criticism in the media.