Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called George Floyd’s killing “brutal” and criticized US President Donald Trump for posing for photos while holding a Bible after ordering crackdown on protesters.
“We are witnessing major (racial) oppression against African Americans,” Rouhani said in a speech on Thursday.
“The rulers of the White House have turned the current situation in the United States into one of the worst in history. George Floyd was killed in the most brutal way,” Rouhani said referring to Floyd’s death after a white police officer was caught on video pressing his knee to his neck.
“We express sympathy toward the American people who are on the streets and condemn the White House for ordering the crime (against people of color),” he said.
Rouhani also made reference to the clearing of peaceful protesters from a park outside the White House with chemical agents and flash-bang grenades so that Trump could walk to a church for a photo opportunity.
“The Bible is a holy book that invites people to peace and compassion. It is a shame that the US president holds a Bible when he plans to act against American citizens,” Rouhani said.
The death of George Floyd, a Black man who yelled “I cannot breathe” as a white Minneapolis police officer pinned him down with his knee in the US state of Minnesota, has drawn outrage and widespread protests across the US.
Police-involved shootings and killings of unarmed black men in the hands of white police officers have led to mass protests across the country in recent years and the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement.