Nov. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that the United States will impose more sanctions on Iran, citing human rights abuses amid nationwide protests.
Pompeo condemned the Iranian regime's decision to cut off Internet access in the country and said the United States requested that Iranians share messages about abuses of the regime to allow the U.S. government to review further sanctions.
"We have received to date nearly 20,000 messages, videos pictures, notes of the regime's abuses through Telegram messaging services. I hope they will continue to be sent to us," he said. "We will continue to sanction Iranian officials who are responsible for these human rights abuses, just like we did last week to Iran's Minister of Communications."
Pompeo also condemned the killing of Iranian dissident Massoud Malvi who he said was assassinated in Istanbul by the Iranian regime after defecting to Turkey.
"The killing of Mr. Malvi is yet another tragic example in a long string of suspected Iran-backed assassination attempts outside of Iranian soil. The regime's brutality and amorality know no international boundaries," Pompeo said.
Amnesty International reported more than 100 people have died in the protests adding it fears the death toll could be closer to 200 amid concerns that live ammunition has been used to quell the protests.
Pompeo on Tuesday pledged the support of the United States to the Iranian people.
"To the courageous people of Iran who refuse to stay silent about 40 years of abuse by the ruling regime, I simply say this: The United States hears you. We support you and we will continue to stand with you in your struggle for a brighter future for your people and for your great nation."