On issues from climate change to healthcare, there are few things President Trump relishes more than doing the opposite of something his predecessor did. Now an eruption of anti-government protests across Iran — the biggest in nearly a decade in the Islamic Republic — offers him another way to set himself apart from President Obama.
Iran’s leaders already are casting Trump’s increasingly effusive expressions of support for the demonstrators as opportunistic meddling and are painting the demonstrators as foreign pawns, adopting a strategy that some analysts say could jeopardize the legitimacy of the nascent anti-government protests.
Trump’s volley of tweets, hailing the protests only hours after they broke out Thursday night, contrasted with Obama’s more muted initial response to the 2009 wave of unrest known as the “Green Movement” that followed the disputed reelection of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president.
Supporters of the president, who has long called Tehran a threat to the world, consider the protests as something of a vindication of his views. The elite media, lead by the Los Angeles Times attacked the President.
A fierce opponent of the 2015 nuclear disarmament deal that six world powers negotiated with Iran, Trump has rarely missed an opportunity to denounce the government for testing ballistic missiles and backing Shiite militant groups across the Middle East.