USA calls for Friday UN Security Council meeting on Iran

Aaron Brown
January 6, 2018

A Security Council diplomat told Fox News that countries opposed to the discussion could call a vote to stop it from going ahead.

At least 21 people have been killed amid the anti-government protests and unrest over the country's economic woes — demonstrations Iran has accused the US of stirring up.

The United States has requested a U.N. Security Council meeting on Friday afternoon to discuss "the troubling and risky situation" in Iran, the U.S. Mission to the U.N. announced Thursday night.

In contrast to the USA response to the Iran protests in 2009, where the Obama administration took a relatively hands-off approach, President Trump has promised "great support" for the demonstrators, while the State Department has hinted at sanctions for officials who abuse protesters and said that it will use Facebook and Twitter to communicate directly with activists.

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. On Wednesday tens of thousands of Iranians participated in counter-demonstrations backing the government, which has claimed that the US and its other "enemies" are fueling the protests. Iran has also seen three days of large pro-government demonstrations.

Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the demonstrations are a domestic matter, not an worldwide security issue warranting the attention of the U.N.'s most powerful body. "In 2018, we will not be silent", Haley added. Haley said Friday that "the world should applaud their courage", and the USA "stands unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves".

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.

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Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif listens to anchor Charlie Rose, at an event held in conjunction with the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 27, 2017.

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.

In Moscow, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov made it clear that the protests in Iran did not pose an worldwide threat and should not be a topic for debate within the council. She says it's a matter of Iranians' human rights but also worldwide peace and security.

The U.N. Security Council is holding an emergency meeting called by the United States to consider the protests that have roiled Iran in recent days.

But Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, has portrayed Friday's Security Council meeting as an American attempt to violate Iran's sovereignty.

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).

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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