Russia, France Slam US Over Emergency UN Meeting on Iran

Lester Mason
January 13, 2018

Russia's United Nations ambassador, Vasily Nebenzia, said the US move to call the meeting was a "bogus pretext" to include "purely political issues" surrounding Iran on the Security Council agenda and said that outside countries should not interfere with the demonstrations there.

Iranian Ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo asserted that the administration of US President Donald Trump - in the form of its current and widely-criticized ambassador Nikki Haley - was abusing its position as a permanent UNSC member in demanding the emergency meeting.

The world "witnessed that (all other) members of the UN Security Council spoke about preventing the meddling in Iran's internal affairs", he said.

"Stop giving billions of our money to killers and dictators", the U.S.'s United Nations envoy, Nikki Haley, said during an emergency meeting of the council.

Ms Haley said Friday that "the world should applaud their courage", and the U.S. "stands unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves".

On Friday, the US ironically called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to address the demonstrations in Iran that began on December 28 and subsided after a few days.

France's ambassador to the United Nations told the Security Council the protests in Iran did not require a meeting before the global body.

It has largely tapered off. Clashes with security forces have resulted in up to 22 protesters' deaths and hundreds of arrests.

Iran's foreign minister on Monday warned neighbouring countries over fomenting insecurity in Iran in a reference to anti-government protests that have roiled the country over the past two weeks.

Russian Federation was equally scathing in its rebuke of the USA, accusing the Trump administration of using the Security Council to address an issue for which it has no jurisdiction.

US, Russia gear up for UN showdown over Iran protests
UN Security Council holds closed-door talks ahead of Iran meeting

The UN experts said they shared the concerns of Iranian civil society groups for those arrested.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani meanwhile said that despite the exploitation of the protests by outsiders, authorities should listen to the demonstrators' economic grievances.

The meeting began as a closed-door session but the U.S. was able to ensure a second, open phase of talks thereafter, despite resistance from Russia, France, Bolivia and other members.

"If we are not careful, we will end up surreptitiously rebuilding an "axis of evil", Mr Macron added, referring to a comment by former U.S. president George W. Bush, who used the term to describe the "rogue" regimes of Iran, Iraq and North Korea.

The statement of reformists says that although economic condition played a role in protests, but more democracy, rule of law and accountability are needed to rescue the economy.

The anti-government rallies erupted on December 28 in Iran's holy Shi'ite city of Mashhad after the government announced plans to increase fuel prices and dismantle monthly cash handout to lower-income Iranians.

He said: "What we need is a regional strategy which consists in finding ways to limit Iran's influence in the Middle East".

Khatami further stated that "Iran does not support a social network that has its key in the hands of the United States".

More broadly, the president declined to certify the previous administration's nuclear deal with Iran, which flooded the regime's coffers with tens of billions of dollars in cash - money that it could use to repress its own people and support terrorism across the wider world.

While the talks involving the White House, the State Department and Congress wouldn't increase restrictions on Iran's nuclear activity, as Trump also wants, they could strengthen the way the USA enforces the agreement, perhaps convincing Trump that it's worthwhile for the U.S.to stay in it.


Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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