James Jatras, a former Senate foreign policy adviser in Washington, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to impose more sanctions on Iran over the country’s handling of the recent riots, even though the unrest is believed to be the result of Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Iran.
Pompeo on Thursday urged Iranians to send photos and other information documenting what he called “repression,” while vowing to sanction "abuses" by the Iranian government, Presstv Reported.
"I have asked the Iranian protesters to send us their videos, photos and information documenting the regime's crackdown on protesters," Pompeo tweeted, vowing that the US will “expose and sanction the abuses."
Jatras said, “The increase in US sanctions is partly due to the fact that President Trump is under pressure here due to the impeachment inquiry, and probably wants to show some kind of foreign policy success. But let’s remember that in essence nothing has changed that the Trump administration is committed to regime change in Tehran, and any unrest in Iran they encourage no matter how much misery that inflicts on the population. It will simply convince to them that their policy is working, and they should keep piled it on. So this new step is no surprise at all.”
“I think there is a complete disregard for what impact this will have on the people in Iran except the kind of grim satisfaction that the worst the better. The more people are suffering the more there is unrest the more they feel that they are getting close to their goal,” he added.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news conference in Moscow on Thursday that the Iranian government’s decision to raise gasoline prices was provoked by Washington's pressure on Tehran.
"All this was provoked by the absolutely illegal and massive sanctions pressure that the US is exerting on this country,” she said Thursday.
"And, in general, because of Washington's actions, the fundamental human rights and legitimate interests of the Iranian population to freely receive food, medicines and all kinds of necessary products are violated," she added.
On November 15, the Iranian government raised gasoline prices, which still remain the cheapest in the world, triggering protests that some rioters took advantage of to destroy public property and torch banks and gas stations.
The riots also marked hooligans and thugs attacking security forces with firearms, knives and other lethal weapons, leaving several people dead.
Following the deadly riots, access to most of the internet services in Iran was suspended based on a decision by the National Security Council of Iran.