Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan has slammed United States President Donald Trump's administration for its hard-line stance toward Iran, saying it has diminished the possibility of peaceful political change there.
"With wholesale condemnation of Iran and nuclear deal over past year, Trump Admin squandered the opportunity to bolster reformists in Tehran and prospects for peaceful political reform in Iran. Bluster is neither a strategy nor a mechanism for the exercise of US power and influence," Brennan tweeted on Tuesday.
With wholesale condemnation of Iran and nuclear deal over past year, Trump Admin squandered opportunity to bolster reformists in Tehran and prospects for peaceful political reform in Iran. Bluster is neither a strategy nor a mechanism for exercise of U.S. power and influence.— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) January 2, 2018
Brennan served as CIA director during the Obama administration.
Trump dubbed the Iranian regime as "brutal" and "corrupt" and also purported that the money was given to Iran by Barack Obama, when he was the American president "went into terrorism and into their 'pockets.'"
As anti-government protests continued in Iran for the fifth consecutive day between the Iranian security forces and protestors, the official death toll rose to 20.
On Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the people of Iran were free to protest peacefully, but rejected protesting by violence. The authorities have also blocked two popular social media apps - Telegram and Instagram - as a security measure.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has wished Iranian people "success in their noble quest for freedom."
"I wish the Iranian people success in their noble quest for freedom," Netanyahu said in a YouTube video published on Monday.
He also dismissed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's claim that Israel is behind the protests in Iran.
"I heard today Iran's President Hassan Rouhani's claim that Israel is behind the protests in Iran. It's not only false. It's laughable. And unlike Rouhani, I will not insult the Iranian people. They deserve better," Netanyahu said.
Iran is still witnessing a wave of demonstrations, being held in many cities across the country as people took to raising anti-government slogans, over alleged corruption and rising prices that have plagued the people of the country.
Scores of protestors have been arrested in the last few days.