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Story highlights

The Trump administration has gone all in with its vocal support of demonstrators

Diplomats tell CNN that European nations see US expectations as unrealistic

(CNN) —  

Tension is brewing between the US and Europe over how the international community should address the deadly protests in Iran, several diplomats and Trump administration officials told CNN.

While the US and its European partners – including the United Kingdom, France and Germany – all fundamentally support the right of Iranian demonstrators to peacefully protest, they disagree in their analysis of where the situation on the ground is headed and over the strategic value of ramping up the rhetoric publicly, sources said.

The Trump administration, meanwhile, has gone all in with its very vocal support of the demonstrators and harsh condemnation of the Iranian government.

The differences may manifest themselves in public Friday afternoon, when the United Nations Security Council holds a meeting on the Iran protests.

“The United States has spoken clearly and unequivocally,” Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Washington Post op-ed Wednesday. “Unfortunately, many of our European partners, as well as the United Nations, have thus far failed to forcefully speak out on the growing crisis in Iran. It’s time for them to stand up.”

Senior administration officials told CNN that, on principle, the US thinks that supporting the protesters is morally the right thing to do because when people risk their lives for expanded freedoms they should never wonder where America stands.

But officials also said it serves American interests because they are undermining a regime identified as a state sponsor of terrorism.

“The protests are weakening the regime and we see more fissures in the foundation,” one senior official told CNN.