UN Security Council rebuffs the United States over Iran protests
07 January, 2018, 01:16 | Author: Mable Gonzales
The formal meeting was preceded by closed-door consultations requested by Russian Federation, which has accused Washington of interfering in Iran's national affairs and maintains the protests are not a matter for the council.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert had suggested the U.S. government could impose sanctions against Iranian officials who repress peaceful protests.
Meanwhile, Iran's chief prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri has accused CIA, Israel, Saudi for fueling violent anti-government protests that have swept through Iran and left as much 22 people dead and left many others injured.
The French diplomat said, "We must be wary of any attempts to exploit this crisis for personal ends, which would have the diametrically opposed outcome to that which is wished".
America's ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the meeting showed Iran that "the world will be watching" its actions.
And Iran's United Nations envoy, Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo, complained in a letter to the Security Council president Wednesday that Trump's "absurd tweets" had "incited Iranians to engage in disruptive acts".
It also pointed to a U.S. State Department official's Tuesday statement that the United States was communicating with anti-government protesters through its Facebook and Twitter pages in Farsi, and was encouraging them to demonstrate. "We support these legitimate aspirations of the Iranian people, and call on the government to allow the free exchange of ideas and information". "The world will be watching what you do", Haley said. Haley said Friday that "the world should applaud their courage", and the USA "stands unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves". She also called government of Iran to "stop censoring the voice of the people, and to restore the access to the Internet".
"The United States continues to interfere both openly and covertly in the internal affairs of other countries".
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At least 21 people were killed and 450 were arrested in the protests, many in clashes with security forces trying to quell the rallies.
He added his government has "hard evidence" the recent protests in Iran were "very clearly directed from abroad".
"Today, the Iranian people are once again rising up to demand freedom and opportunity, and under President Trump, the United States is standing with them".
Trump's administration has denied having any hand in the demonstrations, saying they arose completely spontaneously.
But Russia accuses the United States of interfering in Iran's national affairs and called for closed-door talks just before the council's meeting, scheduled for 3:00 pm (2000 GMT).
But the Europeans - who negotiated the nuclear agreement along with the United States, Russia and China - have reacted more cautiously by expressing support for the protesters without antagonizing the government with strident condemnation.
"It is unfortunate that despite the resistance on the part of some of its members, this council has allowed itself to be abused by the current U.S. administration in holding a meeting on an issue that falls outside the scope of its mandate", Khoshroo said.
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