US President Joe Biden on Thursday vowed to "free" Iran and said that protesters who oppose the Islamic Republic would soon succeed in freeing themselves.
"Don't worry, we're gonna free Iran. They’re gonna free themselves pretty soon," Biden said during a wide-ranging campaign speech in California, as dozens of demonstrators gathered outside holding banners supporting Iranian protesters.
Biden did not expand on his remarks or specify what additional actions he would take during the remarks at MiraCosta College near San Diego.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi reacted on Friday during a pro-government rally on the anniversary of the occupation of the US embassy in Tehran in November 1979 that resulted in taking dozens of Americans hostage for 444 days. In harsh anti-US remarks, Raisi said that he came across Biden’s statement “that he might have uttered in a state of wackiness.”
Raisi responded to Biden’s remark saying that “He said standing behind the official podium that they are supposed to free Iran. Mr. President, Iran was freed 43 years ago and vowed not to be enslaved by you.”
Raisi went on to mock US attempts to block Iran’s oil exports, saying that Washington’s plans were defeated. “Today we have influence in the region and no equation can succeed without Iran’s agreement, and America also knows this very well.”
The White House's National Security Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Iranian Americans opposed to the clerical regime in Tehran have viewed the Biden Administration as weak and ready to make deals with Tehran. Before his election in 2020, Biden announced that he would seek to restore the 2015 nuclear deal, known as JCPOA, that his predecessor had abandoned.
Eighteen months of negotiations before the current upheaval started in September failed to produce a result, and Iran even began supplying drones to Russia to use in Ukraine, the administration has said.
Seven weeks of demonstrations in Iran were ignited by the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of Iran's morality police.
The protests triggered by Amini's death on September16 have shown the defiance of many young Iranians in challenging the clerical dictatorship, overcoming fear that has stifled dissent in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Demonstration on Thursday in many cities once again shocked the clerical regime which does not know how to end the nationwide protests that have become a daily occurrence. Its security forces cannot be everywhere at all times and protesters rejecting the whole political system are becoming bolder, attacking police, anti-riot forces and government vigilantes called Basij.
The United States on Wednesday said it will try to remove Iran from the 45-member U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) over the government's denial of women's rights and brutal crackdown on protests.
Iran is just starting a four-year term on the commission, which meets annually every March and aims to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women.