Russian Federation slams United States for convening UN meeting over violent protests in Iran

07 January, 2018, 01:17 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Nikki Haley Iranian regime is'now on notice

(CNN) US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Sunday touted a quarter billion dollar cut to the UN's annual budget, capping off a contentious year between the Trump administration and the worldwide body.

Iran is not a member of the Security Council but its ambassador, Gholamali Khoshroo, was invited to participate.

"The Iranian regime is finally on notice: The world will be watching what you do", she said.

He said that while Moscow regrets the loss of lives in the protests, Iran should be left to "deal with its own problems".

Iran's United Nations envoy, who was sitting in on the session despite not being a council member, agreed, calling Friday's session an "abuse of its [the U.S.'s] power as a permanent member, and an abuse of the council itself".

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.

The Iranian government restricted access to social media at the height of the protests over the weekend, but many Iranians also use VPNs so the government can not track their online activity.

"And people in Iran and throughout should be able to access those sites".

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Nauert's statement came on the same day the State Department redesignated Iran and nine other nations as "countries of particular concern" for alleged violations of religious freedom. Since the demonstrations began six days back, at least 21 people have been killed - including a police officer - while hundreds more have reportedly been detained. The days of pro-government rallies drew crowds in the tens of thousands.

There is no evidence that Washington had any direct role in orchestrating the anti-government protests, beyond the encouragement through social media and published remarks.

While the USA 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 have told CNN.

Neither the United States nor the United Nations, whose primary focus is worldwide security, should involve themselves in the Iran situation, he said. On the ground in Iran, however, the unrest appears to have ebbed on Friday.

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.

'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, ' Ambassador Francois Delattre said.

"The United States 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", Sergei Ryabkov said Friday in comments carried by the Interfax news agency.

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