A GROUP of Iranian politicians have chanted "Death to America" as a sign of support to protesters in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
One lawmaker acknowledged Mr Floyd's death in police custody, which has sparked protests against racism and police brutality all over the world.
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He then asked the Iranian Parliament to stand and chant to show respect to protesters in the US.
He said: "To show respect for the movement of the oppressed in the United States, I ask you to stand for a few seconds and chant 'death to America' to show our respect."
A video that appeared on Al Arabiya shows the politicians standing up and chanting for a few seconds while raising their fists.
George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis.
His final words "I can't breathe" have been echoed by protesters not only in the US, but in many other countries – including the UK.
'I CAN'T BREATHE'
With the rallying cries "Black Lives Matter" and "No Justice, No Peace", the demonstrations are among the largest US protests against racism since the 1960s.
A medical examiner on June 1 classified George Floyd’s death as a homicide, saying his heart stopped as police restrained him and compressed his neck.
Chauvin was fired from the police department and has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The other three officers who were involved in detaining Floyd – who was suspected of using a fake $20 bill – were also fired and charged with aiding and abetting murder.
Several Iranian politicians have used Floyd's death as an occasion to condemn the United States as a whole, the Washington Examiner reports.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, tweeted: "A police officer coldly kneeling on a black man’s neck & pushing until he dies, while the other officers do nothing to stop this no matter how much he pleads, is nothing new.
"It is the nature of the US system."
The Iranian government has been criticised for its support for protests in other countries, despite a long track of violence against protesters at home over the years.
Security forces killed about 1,500 Iranians during the country’s anti-government protests last November, according to Reuters.
Tensions between the US and Iran have been steadily developing since the late seventies, but they reached a boiling point this year when general Qasem Soleimani was assassinated on January 3.
In furious retaliation, Iran launched rockets on US air bases in Iraq.
Before the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran was one of America's biggest allies in the Middle East and was led by the US-backed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
However, since the Iranian revolution, the country has been led by fundamentalists and tensions with Washington have remained ever since.
In 2015, Iran agreed a long-term deal on its nuclear programme with a group of world powers – the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany.
Under the accord, Iran agrees to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow in international inspectors in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions, the BBC reports.
However, in May 2018, US President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear deal, before reinstating economic sanctions against Iran and threatening to do the same to countries and firms that would continue buying its oil.
In May 2019, the US tightened the sanctions targeting Iran's oil exports and, in response, Iran began a counter-pressure campaign.
When explosions hit six oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman in May and June 2019, the US accused Iran.
In June, Iranian forces shot down a US military drone over the Strait of Hormuz saying it was over their territory, despite the US saying it was over international waters.
After General Soleimani's death earlier this year, Iran vowed revenge and pulled back from the 2015 nuclear deal.
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