"Special Representative for Iran Hook urges @Facebook, @instagram, and @Twitter to suspend the accounts of the Iranian regime’s leadership, who’ve shamelessly used social media to spew propaganda while shutting down the internet for ordinary Iranians. #Internet4Iran #IranProtests," the US State Department tweeted on Saturday, posting Hook’s video statement.
In his speech, Hook labeled Iran as a "deeply hypocritical regime," accusing it of trying to "hide all of the death and tragedy" it has been allegedly inflicting on the protesters.
The statement comes a day after the US unveiled sanctions against Iran's Information Minister Mohammad-Javad Asari Jahromi for "his role in the Iranian regime’s wide-scale internet censorship." On Saturday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry slammed the new sanctions, arguing that Washington in reality had no respect for freedom of information when it came to other nations.
Protests broke out in several Iranian provinces last week over the government’s decision to suddenly increase the price of gasoline. Some of them turned violent and resulted in casualties among protesters and security forces.
The US has openly voiced support for protesters, prompting Tehran to accuse it of masterminding the rallies.