Hundreds protest in Europe, US in solidarity with Iranian uprising

08 January, 2018, 03:55 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions about his responses to the deaths and injuries at the

Videos shared by social media users outside Iran but which could not be independently verified claimed to show thousands marching peacefully against the regime in several cities including Khorramabad, Zanjan and Ahvaz, with chants of "Death to the dictator". A similar rally followed Friday prayers in Tehran.

While Russia believes the UN Security Council has no business getting involved, British ambassador Matthew Rycroft said it was "right and proper - indeed, our responsibility to assess whether a situation like this could become a threat to worldwide peace and security". U.S. President Donald Trump cheered on protesters, calling Iran a "brutal and corrupt regime", while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "wish [ed] the Iranian people success in their noble quest for freedom".

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley argued the unrest could escalate into full-blown conflict and drew a comparison with Syria.

Iran's state TV on Saturday showed government supporters rallying a day after the foreign minister said a US move to call an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss anti-government protests was another Trump administration "blunder".

"The United States is abusing the platform of the Security Council", said Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, whose country has close ties to Iran.

"We will not be quiet", she told the meeting.

Briefing the Security Council, Taye-Brook Zerihoun, Assistant UN Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said the demonstrations taking place in Iran were a fundamental expression of human rights, and a powerful exhibition of courageous people who were so fed up with their oppressive regime that they were willing to risk their lives in protest.

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However, the Russian representative Vassily A Nebenzia agreed with Iran and said USA is abusing the platform of the Security Council.

Haley went on to destroy the Iranian regime, denouncing their involvement in the Syrian civil war and supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. "Let Iran deal with its own problems".

"However worrying the events of the last few days in Iran may be, they do not constitute per se a threat to worldwide peace and security", Ambassador Francois Delattre said.

But France's ambassador, Francois Delattre, urged caution, saying the council should act "with all the vigilance required, guarding against any exploitation of this crisis, which would only reinforce the extremes".

"This is nothing but another desperate attempt by the United States administration to escape, as it has lost every shred of moral, political and legal authority and credibility in the eyes of the whole world", he said. He pointed out that Trump has a history of making "belligerent" comments about Iran.

China also described the meeting as meddling in Iran's affairs.

The Security Council "rebuffed the U.S.' naked attempt to hijack its mandate", Mr. Zarif wrote on Twitter. "Another FP [foreign policy] blunder for the Trump administration". They also called on the Iranian government to take serious steps in releasing protesters and opposition members who have been arrested.

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