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White House Threatens New Sanctions If Iran Doesn't Allow Civilian Protests

Protests in Tehran on Dec. 30, 2017 Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Trump administration is threatening new sanctions on Iran if it doesn’t allow civilian protests, a top aide to the U.S. president said.

“Yes that’s right,” counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway told Fox News on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump “stands with the Iranian people,” Conway said, adding that “he doesn’t want to remain silent the way too many people were silent in 2009,” a swipe at his predecessor former President Barack Obama.

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Trump said in an early morning tweet that the people of Iran “are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime.

“All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their ‘pockets,’” Trump tweeted. “The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!”

The sanctions threat from the White House comes ahead of a congressional deadline Trump will face this month on whether to certify that Iran is meeting the terms of a nuclear agreement with the U.S. and other nations. Trump, who has criticized the agreement, in October declined to re-certify the deal but held off on reimposing certain sanctions. A new wave of sanctions risks killing the nuclear agreement.

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