White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stressed Wednesday that the Biden administration supports the people of Iran, and said there may be cooperation between Iran and Russia in dealing with Iranian protesters.
"We stand with the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights," Jean-Pierre told reporters.
She said the United States is "concerned that Moscow may be advising Tehran on best practices to manage protests, drawing on Russia’s extensive experience in suppressing open demonstrations."
Jean-Pierre added that the evidence that Iran is helping Russia in the war in Ukraine is "clear and public."
Ukraine and its Western partners, including the United States, have said drones used by Russian forces to attack Ukraine in recent weeks were supplied by Iran. Russia has denied using Iranian drones and Iran has denied supplying them to Russia.
"Iran and Russia are growing closer the more isolated they become," Jean-Pierre said. "Our message to Iran is very, very clear: Stop killing your people and stop sending weapons to Russia to kill Ukrainians."
At the same briefing Wednesday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Russia and Iran are working together to violate the human and civil rights of Iranians and to endanger the lives of Ukrainians.
"The United States stands with Iran — Iranian women and with all the citizens of Iran who are inspiring the world with their bravery. We will continue taking action to impose costs on those who commit violence against peaceful protesters or otherwise seek to suppress their very, very basic rights."