The US believes Russia may be advising Iran on how to crackdown on protesters, as Tehran grapples with country-wide protests sparked by the death of a young woman in the custody of the morality police, the White House said on Wednesday.
“We are concerned that Moscow may be advising Tehran on best practices to manage protests, drawing on Russia’s extensive experience in suppressing open demonstrations,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
Mass protests have swept Iran since September 16 when Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman died in the morality police’s custody.
Iranians have gathered across the country to take part in demonstrations that called for the downfall of the regime.
The regime responded with a violent crackdown on protesters, with dozens killed in clashes with the security forces and thousands arrested.
“Iran and Russia are growing closer, the more isolated they become,” she added, citing evidence of Iran helping Russia in its war on Ukraine.
Earlier this month, Washington decried the use of Iranian drones by Russia in Ukraine. The State Department reported having evidence of Iranian drones being used to strike Ukrainian civilians and critical civilian infrastructure.
Tehran continues to deny the fact that their drones are being used in Ukraine.
She added: “Our message to Iran is very, very clear. Stop killing your people and stop sending weapons to Russia to kill Ukrainians.”
White House's top national security spokesperson John Kirby said: “We see signs that they (Russia) may be considering the ability to help train Iranians on cracking down on protesters… and lending that kind of support to Iran.”