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US warns Iran at UN: ‘The world will be watching what you do’

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during the United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East. (File photo: Reuters)

The UN Security Council on Friday opened a meeting on the deadly protests in Iran, at the request of the United States.

The formal meeting was preceded by closed-door consultations requested by Russia, which has accused Washington of interfering in Iran's national affairs and maintains the protests are not a matter for the council.

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

Javad Safaei, left, member of the Iranian delegation, listens as United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during a Security Council meeting on the situation in Iran, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. (AP)

US warns Iran at UN

US Ambassador Nikki Haley warned Iranian authorities on Friday that the world is watching as Tehran responds to anti-government protests.

"The Iranian regime is now on notice: the world will be watching what you do," Haley told an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in the Islamic republic.

The United States called the meeting despite fierce criticism from Russia, which accused Washington of interfering in Iran's internal affairs.

"The Iranian people are rising up in over 79 locations throughout the country," Haley told the council.

"It is a powerful exhibition of brave people who have become so fed up with their oppressive government that they are willing to risk their lives in protest."

British Ambassador to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft, left, speaks to American Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley before the start of a Security Council meeting on the situation in Iran, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 at United Nations headquarters. (AP)

Haley accused the government of funding a pro-regime military campaign in Syria, backing Shiite militias in Iraq and supporting a crony elite while ordinary Iranians struggle.

The Iranian people are telling their government to "stop the support for terrorism, stop giving billions of our money to killers and dictators, stop taking our wealth and spending it on foreign fighters and proxy wars," said Haley.

French ambassador to UN

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

He added that changes in Iran will come from the people and not from abroad.

British ambassador to UN

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.

Kuwaiti envoy to UN

The Kuwaiti envoy to the UN Mansour Al-Otaibi demanded that the Iranian authorities respect the peaceful demonstrators right to the freedom of expression.

UN security council held closed-door talks on Iran

The UN Security Council went into closed-door talks on Friday on the deadly protests in Iran with Russia and the United States at odds over whether the top UN body should discuss the demonstrations.

Russia requested the consultations and was set to call for a procedural vote to try to block an open meeting requested by the United States on the anti-government demonstrations, which President Donald Trump has openly supported.

Heading into the council chamber, US Ambassador Nikki 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.

For a new agenda item to be discussed at the Security Council, at least nine of the 15 council members must support holding the meeting. No vetoes apply.

Russia accuses the United States of interfering in Iran's national affairs and maintains the protests are not a matter for the council, which deals with threats to international peace and security.

Anti-government protesters demonstrated in Iran on Sunday in defiance of a warning by the authorities of a tough crackdown. (Supplied)

A total of 21 people have died and hundreds have been arrested since December 28 as protests over economic woes turned against the Iranian regime, with attacks on government buildings and police stations.

Pro-regime rallies were held in Tehran after Friday prayers, the third straight day of marches in support of the government, which has declared the unrest over.

Diplomats had expected Russia to call a procedural vote to try to block the meeting, but in the end, Moscow's envoy did not make that request.

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.

Over the past days, the United States has lobbied hard to win support for the Security Council meeting, especially from the six new non-permanent council members, diplomats said.

For a new agenda item to be discussed at the Security Council, at least nine of the 15 council members must support holding the meeting. No vetoes apply.

(With AFP, Reuters)

 

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Last Update: Saturday, 6 January 2018 KSA 07:46 - GMT 04:46
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