United Nations meeting on Iran protests called by U.S. criticized at Security Council
06 January, 2018, 00:47 | Author: Dustin Murphy
Russian Federation and the United States headed for a clash at the UN Security Council on Friday over a meeting called by Washington to discuss the wave of deadly protests in Iran.
U.S. President Donald Trump and members of his administration have praised the anti-government protesters as people standing up to a repressive and corrupt regime.
Iran's United Nations ambassador says the Security Council's emergency meeting on protests in his country is "a preposterous example" of "U.S. bullying".
The Trump administration has taken a vocal approach to the situation in Iran, where at least 21 people have been killed and over 1,000 arrested as Iranians take to the streets to protest against the regime.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said at the meeting that the United States stood "unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves, prosperity for their families, and dignity for their nation".
"The Iranian people are rising up in over 79 locations throughout the country", Haley told the council.
Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo said Friday that "it is a discredit for the Security Council" to discuss what he called a purely domestic matter. Haley said Friday that "the world should applaud their courage", and the US "stands unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves".
Heading into the council chamber, US Ambassador Nikki Haley gave reporters a thumbs-up and answered "yes" when asked if she had the nine votes needed for Friday's meeting to go ahead.
"[The U.S.] continues to pursue a policy of open and implicit interference in the internal affairs of other states - doing it unabashedly, openly, under the slogan of caring for democracy and human rights, directly infringing on the sovereignty of other states", Ryabkov said, according to the Associated Press.
Ahead of the meeting, a Russian deputy foreign minister said it was an American attempt to violate Iran's sovereignty.
"It will be telling if any country tries to deny the Security Council from even having this discussion, just as the Iranian regime tries to deny its own people the ability to have their voices heard", Haley said Thursday.
"However worrying the events of the last few days in Iran may be, they do not constitute per se a threat to worldwide peace and security". She says it's a matter of Iranians' human rights but also global peace and security.
Russian Federation requested the consultations and was set to call for a procedural vote to try to block an open meeting requested by the United States on the anti-government demonstrations, which President Donald Trump has openly supported.
Russia, a council member, has close ties with Iran, which isn't.
Over the past days, the United States has lobbied hard to win support for the Security Council meeting, especially from the six new non-permanent council members, diplomats said.
Pro-regime rallies were held in Tehran after Friday prayers, the third straight day of marches in support of the government, which has declared the unrest over.
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