WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, on Thursday released a statement following widespread protests across Iran:

“The Iranian regime must listen and respond to the growing protest movement, and not use violence to shut it down or cut off the right of Iranian citizens to communicate. Iran's history of brutal repression of civil discourse is a reminder of the grave danger faced by these brave citizens who are standing up to the regime, and the U.S. should support their right to air their grievances,” said Murphy. “Unfortunately, these protests come at a moment when President Trump is trying to slash and burn U.S. funding for democracy promotion, and when our Iran policy is a mess, with no real prospect for negotiations that would release the unilateral sanctions that have crippled the economy and hurt the Iranian people.”