FILE PHOTO - U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Pensacola, Florida, U.S., December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Picture
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The Trump administration Tuesday threw the weight of the U.S. government behind the protesters taking to the streets of Iran, rooting them on despite the risk of helping Iranian authorities dismiss a week of major demonstrations as the product of American instigation.As Iran's supreme leader accused "enemies of Iran" of trying to destabilize his country, the State Department pressed Tehran to unblock social media sites used by the protesters. Borrowing from a response playbook it has used before, Iran's government blamed the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Britain for the protests.For Trump, the protests have served as an unexpected but welcome opportunity to rally the world against Iran, and U.S. officials said the administration was actively encouraging other countries to back the protests.In the U.S., Trump's full-throated support for the protesters has renewed the debate about how best to encourage change in Iran, whose government Trump deems a top national security threat.It wasn't immediately clear what effect Trump's support was having on the protests, although Iran's state TV reported his tweets and some Iranians shared them online.
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