Iran just responded to Trump’s lazy provocations on twitter

Like a bored social media troll with nothing better to do, President Trump decided to pick a fight with Iran on twitter late Friday night after protests erupted in that country over spiking food prices and other economic woes.

On Saturday morning, the Iranian government issued a scathing response.  Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said that Trump’s tweet was “cheap, worthless, and invalid.”

“Iranian people give no credit to the deceitful and opportunist remarks of U.S. officials or Mr. Trump. The great nation of Iran for sure has closely watched the active participation of Mr Trump in violating the human rights of Palestinian, Yemeni, and Bahraini people,” the statement continues.

“Moreover, they definitely remember the US president’s malignant hostility towards the educated people of Iran, the restrictions he imposed on the entry of Iranians to America, and the arrest of many Iranian nationals living in the US on fabricated pretexts.”

Aside from the petulant pugilism Trump engages in with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, this is the harshest, most pointed criticism yet to come from a foreign government.

In response, President Trump doubled-down on Saturday, tweeting out video of portions of a speech he gave at the U.N. earlier this year that were highly critical of Iran.

Iran’s theocratic government has committed human rights violations against its own people for decades, particularly when they’ve tried to organize and protest en masse.  In 2009, massive demonstrations exploded nation-wide to protest that year’s presidential election that was widely seen as rigged in favor of incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  The protests grew for days before the Revolutionary Guard began violently imposing order, first with pepper spray and batons, and ultimately guns and bullets.

Someone with a smartphone captured the shooting death of Neda Agha-Soltan, a young woman participating peacefully in the protests who was hit by distant sniper.  The tragic video went viral almost immediately.

Protests this time around appear much more focused on rising food prices and the economic malaise Iran has suffered under for years, but that hasn’t stopped President Trump from egging them on.  But for what purpose?

Trump’s foreign policy toward Iran, such as it is, seems limited to dismantling the nuclear deal brokered under President Obama and treating the Shiite nation as an adversary in the broader context of Middle East geopolitics.  There has never been an effort to aide the Iranian people or promote democracy on the ground from this administration.

It seems lazy and disingenuous at best – and life threatening at worst – for an American head of state to encourage citizens of a foreign nation to take to the streets without any plan or intention to support them beyond empty tweets.

But why let little things like strategy or the well being of people on the ground get in the way of a good Twitter feud?  It’s never stopped our tweeter in chief before.

Peter Mellado

Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.