Iran: UN meeting on protests is 'US bullying'

Handle with care By: dt news   , Posted on 05-Jan-2018

UN experts urge Iran to respect rights of protesters, end Internet crackdown

Ahead of the meeting, a Russian deputy foreign minister said it was an American attempt to violate Iran's sovereignty.

But in the end, Moscow's envoy did not try to block the formal session from taking place.

In contrast to the US 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.

"We must not let that happen in Iran", Haley added. Russian Federation has been vocal in its opposition to the session, with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov accusing the USA of infringing on Iran's sovereignty. China, Bolivia and new member Equatorial Guinea are the countries most likely to have an objection, as they claim the protest is an internal matter for Iran and not a matter that involves worldwide peace and security. In 2009, the world stood by passively while the hopes of the Iranian people were crushed by their government.

Delattre stated that however worrying, recent Iran events do not constitute per se a threat to worldwide peace and security.

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.

The United States has requested a U.N. Security Council meeting on Friday afternoon to discuss "the troubling and unsafe situation" in Iran, the U.S. Mission to the U.N. announced Thursday night.

The U.S. called the meeting after giving moral support to the anti-government protesters.

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. Maryam Rajavi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran called in a video statement for the Security Council to "stand with the Iranian people in their struggle for freedom, democracy and human rights".

At least 21 people have been killed and hundreds, if not more, arrested over the past week in protests and unrest, which began amid grievances over economic woes. Iran has also seen three days of large pro-government demonstrations.

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.

Heading into the council chamber, 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 U.N. Security Council is holding an emergency meeting called by the United States to consider the protests that have roiled Iran in recent days.

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