USA faces criticism at Security Council meeting on Iran protests

Violet Powell
January 8, 2018

The UN Security Council's (UNSC) meeting on Friday requested by the U.S. on the current wave of unrest and demonstrations across Iran, turned out to be inconclusive.

America's ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the meeting showed Iran that "the world will be watching" its actions.

"And let there be no doubt whatsoever: the United States stands unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves, prosperity for their families, and dignity for their nation".

Whereas Republicans were quick to criticize former US President Barack Obama's diplomatic overtures to Iran and decision to avoid overtly supporting any factions in Iran pushing for the Islamic Republic's overthrow during the 2009 protests, voices on both sides of Washington's partisan divide have urged Trump to embrace a new approach towards Tehran.

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

Iran should be allowed to deal with its own problems, he said asserting that the Council should not be involved in destabilising Iran.

While the Obama administration flew in freights of cash and wired back billions of dollars to the terrorism-exporting Iranian regime, the Trump administration has declared full-throated support of Iranian protesters clamoring for freedom and has now slapped on additional sanctions.

British Ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, refuted the Iranian allegations and said that no one is forcing Iran onto their agenda.

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Envoys from several other countries including China expressed reservations about whether the council was the right place to debate the issue.

"The Security Council is perfectly empowered through Article 34 of the UN Charter, and I quote, to investigate any dispute or any situation which might lead to worldwide friction or give rise to a dispute in order to determine whether the continuance of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of global peace and security", he said.

The French diplomat was blunt when he said that the violations of the demonstrators' rights "do not constitute per se a threat to global peace and security".

Khoshroo said Iran has "hard evidence" that violence is being directed from overseas, and went on to describe recent instances in which foreign citizens have incited violence in Iran.

US President Donald Trump has come out in support of the protestors. The CIA declined to comment.

The Security Council "rebuffed the U.S.' naked attempt to hijack its mandate", Mr. Zarif wrote on Twitter. Nonetheless, since Trump won the 2016 presidential election, scores of former USA officials have sought to convince him to open up discussions between his administration and the MEK.

'Oppressive regimes can not endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice. They also called on the Iranian government to take serious steps in releasing protesters and opposition members who have been arrested.

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