Russia: US Call for UN Meeting on Iran "Destructive"

Russia: US Call for UN Meeting on Iran

The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations on Friday accused the United States of abusing its power as a permanent member of the Security Council during an emergency meeting called by the Trump administration to discuss unrest and protests in Iran.

Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, described the decision to call the meeting as "another FP (foreign policy) blunder for the Trump administration", adding that the council had "rebuffed the US' naked attempt to hijack its mandate".

The US called the United Nations meeting on Friday, portraying the protests that began last week as a human rights issue that could spill over into an global problem.

ReutersThe US has faced criticism for bringing the protests in Iran to the floor of the UN.

Up to 42,000 people took part in the protests, according to Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, who has said the clerically overseen government exhibited "tolerance" toward the demonstrations.

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

The Iranian people are telling their government to "stop the support for terrorism, stop giving billions of our money to killers and dictators, stop taking our wealth and spending it on foreign fighters and proxy wars", said Haley.

'However worrying the events of the last few days in Iran may be, they do not constitute per se a threat to global peace and security'.

He added that changes in Iran will come from the people and not from overseas.

"We must maintain a robust dialogue with Iran to ensure it doesn't further pose a risk stoking regional stability", he said.

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The Kuwaiti envoy to the UN Mansour Al-Otaibi demanded that the Iranian authorities respect the peaceful demonstrators right to the freedom of expression.

The United States is tapping social media to incite protesters "to change their government", thus tampering in Iranian affairs, the Islamic republic alleged in a Thursday letter to the United Nations.

Donald Trump has tweeted his support for the anti-government protesters, warning Iran that the "world is watching".

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.

The Security Council debate underscored those differences.

"Iran's domestic affairs have nothing to do with the United Nations Security Council's role", he said.

At least 21 people have been killed and hundreds arrested amid the anti-government protests and unrest over the country's economic woes.

In the following days, however, the protests appeared to turn into anti-government rallies, spreading to Tehran, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Zanjan, Ahvaz and Arak provinces.

Diplomats expect Russian Federation to try to block the formal council meeting by requesting a procedural vote to decide whether the situation in Iran should be on the agenda.

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

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