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4 Jan, 2018 23:01

UN Security Council will discuss Iran after US calls to back anti-govt protests

UN Security Council will discuss Iran after US calls to back anti-govt protests

The United Nations has announced the UN Security Council will convene Friday to discuss the situation in the Middle East, following calls by the US to hold an emergency session on the protests in Iran.

On Tuesday, US Ambassador Haley called for urgent meetings in the UNSC and the UN Human Rights Council to back the anti-government protesters.

"The UN must speak out,” Haley said at a news conference. “In the days ahead, we will be calling for an emergency session both here in New York and at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. We must not be silent. The people of Iran are crying out for freedom.”

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump posted tweet after tweet slamming what he called the "brutal and corrupt" Tehran authorities.

Iran's Ambassador to the UN has snapped back at the attacks by US officials, accusing them of “grotesque” interference in his country’s internal affairs, and of encouraging regime change.

Protests erupted last week in Iran over frustration with the economy and corruption. At least 21 people have been killed in the six days of clashes with security forces. Around 450 people have been detained, some, according to Tehran authorities, with links to foreign intelligence services. Speaking Tuesday, the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused foreign powers of using money, weapons and political warfare to create chaos in the country. The anti-government protests have been met with counter-rallies as thousands of pro-government demonstrators continue to rally in support of President Hassan Rouhani.

Haley pushed for “all freedom-loving people“ to stand with the rioters' cause, saying, “The international community made the mistake of failing to do that in 2009; we must not make that mistake again.”

The 2009 protests followed the disputed victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran's presidential election, resulting in the deaths of 36 people over three months.

Moscow has warned Washington against meddling in Iran’s internal affairs, accusing the US for using the situation in the Islamic Republic to derail the hard-fought 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran.

“The current situation, when Washington falls to the temptation to use the moment to raise new issues regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), shows the deliberate attempt to undermine and shatter the international community's commitment the JCPOA,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova ridiculed Haley's calls to stand up for human rights in Iran, reminding Washington of its own record of cracking down on protests.

“There is no doubt that the US delegation to the UN has something to tell the world,” Zakharova said in a Facebook post. "Haley can, for example, share the US experience of putting down protests, tell [the Security Council] about the mass arrests and crackdown against the Occupy Wall Street movement or about the 'clean-up operation' in Fergusson.”