Russia Accuses US of 'Abusing' UNSC Position Over Iran

07 January, 2018, 01:19 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • Nikki Haley Iranian regime is'now on notice

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. The unrest spread over 80 cities and towns and has resulted in 22 deaths and more than 1,000 arrests, according to Iranian officials.

Some other members urged a careful approach to weighing in on the protests: "Yes, of course, to vigilance and call for full respect of freedom of expression, but no to instrumentalization of the crisis from the outside — because it would only reinforce the extremes, which is precisely what we want to avoid", French Ambassador Francois Delattre said before the meeting.

He also criticized a call by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss the violence.

Ryabkov said earlier on Thursday that the United States should not interfere in Iran's domestic affairs, and that Moscow remained committed to the 2015 global deal to curtail Tehran's nuclear program, which US President Donald Trump has challenged.

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. "The Iranian regime is now on notice: the world will be watching what you do".

Rycroft said too often Iran's legitimate security interests in middle east pursued in way that destabilizes, at times threatens others, supports terrorism, distorts Iranian economy. Some demonstrators openly chanted anti-government slogans at both the hard line clerics who run the country and at President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who promised more political freedoms and economic improvements following sanctions relief after the 2015 nuclear deal. "They are attempting to silence the voice of the Iranian people".

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Pro-regime rallies were held in Tehran after Friday prayers, the third straight day of marches in support of the government, which has declared the unrest over. 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.

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.

But Russia and Iran complained the USA was dragging a council focused on worldwide security into what they called a domestic matter.

Trump's administration has denied having any hand in the demonstrations, saying they arose completely spontaneously. President Donald Trump has been particularly harsh, tweeting his support for Iranians who "are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime".

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov went so far as to say the United States was leveraging the protests to undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Members of the United Nations Security Council vote to impose new sanctions on North Korea on December 22, 2017, in New York City.

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