March 24, 2018

USA faces criticism at UNSC for exploiting situation in Iran

09 January 2018, 01:45 | Rufus Hill

Iran appears to have beaten down sudden protests

Students attend an anti-government protest at Tehran University in Iran on Dec. 30 2017

"The Iranian regime is now on notice".

"It needs to be crystal clear to the global community that the situation in Iran does not belong on the agenda of the Security Council", said Mr Sacha Sergio Llorenty, the Bolivian ambassador.

US President Donald Trump had refrained from calling for violence or disruptive acts in Iran but had expressed "such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government", also pledging "great support from the United States at the appropriate time".

The United Nations Security Council was to hold an emergency meeting Friday afternoon on what U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has described as the "troubling and unsafe situation in Iran".

Heated debate took place on the floor of the Security Council at the United Nations headquarters in NY after its 15 members were gathered at the request of the USA to discuss the current situation in Iran. "The people of Iran are crying out for freedom", Haley said earlier this week as the protests gained steam.

"The Iranian people are rising up in over 79 locations throughout the country", Haley told the council.

Every United Nations member state is sovereign, but member states can not use sovereignty as a shield when they categorically deny their people human rights and fundamental freedoms, the USA ambassador said.

It was an afternoon of high diplomatic theatre that began with a passionate denunciation of Iran's "oppressive government" by the USA ambassador, Ms Nikki Haley, and ended with the Iranian ambassador delivering a lengthy history of popular revolt in the United States - from the violent demonstrations at the Democratic National Convention in 1968 to the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011. "Let Iran deal with its own problems", said Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador to the UN. No dishonest attempt to call the protestors, puppets of foreign powers, will change that.

Nearly a third of Iran's 80 million people use the Telegram app as their main source of news and a way of bypassing the highly restrictive state media.

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting at the request of the USA on Friday to discuss the anti-government protests that rocked Iran last week.

"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 United States administration in holding a meeting on an issue that falls outside the scope of its mandate", Khoshroo said.

Alma Konurbayeva, press officer for Kazakhstan, the Security Council president for January, confirmed to CBS News' Pamela Falk that Friday afternoon's meeting - called for by Haley - was on the agenda.

"This is nothing but another desperate attempt by the United States administration to escape, as it has lost every shred of moral, political and legal authority and credibility in the eyes of the whole world", he said.

"The United States continues to interfere both openly and covertly in the internal affairs of other countries".

Khoshoroo alleged that the USA has a long history of intervening in the internal affairs of Iran, including a continuous pattern of disruption in the democratisation process in Iran.

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