US, Russia spar over Iran at Security Council

Casey Dawson
January 6, 2018

If the meeting goes ahead, the council is not expected to issue a statement on the unrest in Iran, which would have to be agreed by all 15 members, diplomats said.

U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed his support for protesters who have been staging rallies across Iran over the past week against the country's government.

"The Security Council must hold them accountable and set up a tribunal to prosecute them", she said.

The United States and Russian Federation were set to face off Friday at the United Nations Security Council over how the global community should respond to the protests in Iran, after the USA called for an emergency session as it ramps up pressure on the hardline regime in Tehran. These protests were followed on Saturday and Wednesday by large demonstrations in support of the government.

Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the demonstrations are a domestic matter, not an worldwide security issue warranting the attention of the U.N.'s most powerful body.

Commenting on the possibility of new USA sanctions on Iran, Ryabkov said such methods were "illegitimate".

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley warned Iranian authorities that the world is watching as it responds to anti-government protests.

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"It is unfortunate that despite the resistance on the part of some of its members, this council has allowed itself to be abused by the current US administration in holding a meeting on an issue that falls outside the scope of its mandate", he said. She said the global community must also "do more" to prevent Iran from silencing protesters' messages, particularly by blocking some social media platforms.

Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshroo told a U.N. Security Council meeting on Friday that the United States had abused its power as a permanent member of the Council by calling for a meeting on the turmoil in Iran, in which at least 22 people have been killed and over 1,000 arrested.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has praised the anti-government demonstrators as courageous freedom-seekers who need the world's support.

Pointing out that her government is monitoring the internal situation in Iran, Wasllström has reportedly said " the UN Security Council is responsible for issues related to global security and peace, meanwhile there are other ways to deal with the current situation in Iran".

But Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, has portrayed Friday's Security Council meeting as an American attempt to violate Iran's sovereignty.

Iran on Wednesday angrily accused the the United Nations of meddling in its domestic affairs.

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