Iran unrest divides UN Security Council meeting

Russia: US Call for UN Meeting on Iran “Destructive”

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.

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 protests are the most widespread of their kind in Iran since the unrest that followed 2009's disputed presidential election.

The US called the meeting after giving moral support to the anti-government protesters in a week of demonstrations and counter-demonstrations.

Khoshroo said for Washington to call a meeting to discuss Iranian protests was a "preposterous example" of US bullying tactics at the United Nations, and added that it had "lost every shred of moral, political and legal authority and credibility in the eyes of the whole world".

Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshroo has slammed the USA government's recent attempts to intervene in the domestic affairs of the Islamic Republic.

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.

Haley accused the government of funding a pro-regime military campaign in Syria, backing Shiite militias in Iraq and supporting a crony elite while ordinary Iranians struggle.

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The statement closed, vowing, "To the regime's victims, we say: You will not be forgotten".

"The United States continues to interfere both openly and covertly in the internal affairs of other countries". "They are attempting to silence the voice of the Iranian people".

At least 21 people were killed and 450 were arrested in the protests, many in clashes with security forces trying to quell the rallies. Haley said Friday that "the world should applaud their courage", and the US "stands unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves". "Unfortunately, many of our European partners, as well as the United Nations, have thus far failed to forcefully speak out on the growing crisis in Iran".

USA president Donald Trump and members of his administration have praised the anti-government demonstrators as people standing up to a repressive and corrupt regime that is trying to silence them. Among them: labeling Iran a "terrorist nation", denying its citizens entry into the United States and Trump saying he respected Iranians while denying them the benefits of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is aimed at ensuring Iran's nuclear program is pursued for only peaceful ends.

Meanwhile, Russia urged the USA not to interfere in what Moscow calls Iran's "domestic affairs", TASS news agency cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Thursday as saying.

"We see no role for the United Nations Security Council in this issue", he said, according to the agency.

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