10:43 GMT21 September 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Iran should spare the life of young wrestling star Navid Afkarai and not execute him for participating in an anti-government demonstration, US President Donald Trump said in a public appeal to Tehran.

    "Hearing that Iran is looking to execute a great and popular wrestling star, 27-year-old Navid Afkarai, whose sole act was an anti-government demonstration on the streets", Trump via Twitter on Thursday. "To the leaders of Iran, I would greatly appreciate if you spare this young man’s life, and not execute him. Thank you!"

    Trump further noted that Afkarai and the other demonstrators were only reacting to deteriorating economic conditions in Iran.

    "They were protesting the country’s worsening economic situation and inflation", Trump said.

    In November, protests erupted in several of Iran's provinces, following the government’s decision to suddenly increase the price of gasoline, with some of the rallies turning violent.

    President Hassan Rouhani claimed that the protests were organized by the United States and Israel to undermine Iran’s national security. Washington openly voiced support for demonstrators.

    protests, Iran, United States
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