White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Wednesday called out Iran for its reported torturing and killing of anti-government protesters, and said the Trump administration is "deeply concerned" that thousands of these protesters have been imprisoned by the regime.
"Further reports that the regime has tortured or killed some of these demonstrators while in detention are even more disturbing," Sanders said.
"We will not remain silent as the Iranian dictatorship represses the basic rights of its citizens and will hold Iran's leaders accountable for any violations," she added. "The protesters in Iran are expressing legitimate grievances, including demanding an end to their government's oppression, corruption, and waste of national resources on military adventurism."
Sanders' statement came after President Trump warned over the weekend that the U.S. would be watching "very closely" for human rights violations in Iran, as that country's people continue protesting their government.
The protests started as a response to continued poor economic conditions within Iran, and Trump said Sunday that Iranians are "getting wise" to their own bad leadership.
Sanders said the government needs to show restraint as the protests continue.
"Iran's regime claims to support democracy, but when its own people express their aspirations for better lives and an end to injustice, it once again shows its true brutal nature," she said. "The United States calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Iran, including the victims of the most recent crackdown."