Iran put on notice over deadly protests

Erika Holt
January 13, 2018

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting at the request of the USA on Friday to discuss the anti-government protests that rocked Iran last week.

"Tomorrow the U.N. Security Council will discuss the troubling and risky situation in Iran", Haley said in a statement issued Thursday evening, adding that it was "a matter of fundamental human rights for the Iranian people, but it is also a matter of global peace and security".

"The Iranian issue does not pose any threat on global peace and security, nor is it on the agenda of the Security Council", China's Ambassador to the U.N. Wu Haitao 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.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called the protests "something the world must take note of" and a "powerful exhibition of fearless people" risking their lives to exercise their right to speak. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the session put Iran on notice that "the world will be watching" its actions. She said Iranian people are demanding their government stop spending their wealth on foreign fighters and proxy wars.

And Iran's United Nations envoy, Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo, complained in a letter to the Security Council president Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump's "absurd tweets" had "incited Iranians to engage in disruptive acts".

China's envoy said that if Haley's logic were to be followed consistently, the Security Council should have held hearings after the 2014 racial protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in 2011.

At least 21 people were killed and 450 were arrested in the protests, many in clashes with security forces trying to quell the rallies. The unrest spread over 80 cities and towns and has resulted in 22 deaths and more than 1,000 arrests, according to Iranian officials.

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

Today the Iranian people are again rising up to demand freedom and opportunity, and under President Donald Trump, the United States is standing with them.

Science Minister Mansour Gholami said that about a quarter of the students arrested have since been released, though he failed to give any exact numbers. For the European Union, human rights have always been a core issue in our relationship with Iran.

Kazakhstan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Kairat Umarov made the remarks speaking to reporters on Friday after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) convened on the recent incidents in Iran. They are the largest protests since the disputed presidential election in 2009 - a revolt against a stagnant economy, money spent overseas, and a corrupt government, according to protesters. "We will not be quiet", Haley said, dismissing any attempts to paint the protesters as "puppets of foreign powers". State television showed rallies in cities including Amol, Semnan and Shadegan waving Iranian flags and chanting "Death to America", "Death to Israel" and "Death to Britain".

Mr Trump has also repeatedly threatened to decertify the landmark global deal to curb Iran's nuclear programme, a move which could cause the 2015 accord to unravel and that has been bitterly criticised by other signatories, including France.

Experts, however, have warned that reimposing oil sanctions on Iran could lead to the collapse of the deal and further dent Iran's flailing economy.

"We are also very concerned at reports that the Government has blocked the internet on mobile networks, and that social media services like Instagram and messaging services like Telegram have been shut down in an attempt to quell the protests", they said.

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