President Trump on Tuesday tweeted out his support for Iranians who are protesting their "corrupt" government regime, and said former President Barack Obama is partly to blame for paying hundreds of millions of dollars to the regime before leaving office.
"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.' The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!" Trump tweeted.
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.” The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
His message was similar to his Monday tweet, which said the U.S. "foolishly" gave Iran $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years. Obama also approved a $1.7 billion payout to Iran in three cash installments as part of a deal to release four U.S. hostages.
The Obama administration insisted that it wasn't a ransom payment, but was criticized by Republicans who said it was ransom and a violation of longstanding U.S. policy.
Last week, Iranians took to the streets across the country to protest difficult living conditions and a poor economy that the majority of citizens face as a result of government officials' leaders.
Vice President Mike Pence on Monday said the U.S. stands behind the Iranian protesters.
"As long as @realDonaldTrump is POTUS and I am VP, the United States of America will not repeat the shameful mistake of our past when others stood by and ignored the heroic resistance of the Iranian people as they fought against their brutal regime," Pence tweeted Monday. "The bold and growing resistance of the Iranian people today gives hope and faith to all who struggle for freedom and against tyranny. We must not and we will not let them down."
More than one dozen people have been killed in the violent protests, as of Tuesday morning.