Iran mocks Trump 'blunder' as government supporters rally

US, Russia gear up for UN showdown over Iran protests

Iran ayatollah claims to have stopped protests by blocking Telegram app

A UN Security Council meeting on Friday to discuss recent protests in Iran turned into criticism of the USA for requesting to meet on what some member states said was an internal issue for Tehran.

Russia's United Nations envoy said the "abusing the platform of the Security Council" by calling an emergency meeting on the protests that have roiled Iran in recent days.

But Russia and China argued that it is a domestic issue.

On 3 January, the Permanent Representative of Iran to the United Nations wrote to the Secretary-General, accusing the United States of stepping up "its acts of intervention in a grotesque way in Iran's internal affairs under the pretext of providing support for sporadic protests" in Iran, he recalled.

"Human rights are not the gift of governments, they are the inalienable rights of the people themselves", Haley said.

Iran's foreign minister said the move to an emergency meeting on protests marks another foreign policy "blunder" for Donald Trump's administration after the country's United Nations ambassador described the move as an example of "US bullying". They denounced a fraudulent election and, as the days went on, they began to demand that the unelected ayatollahs end their decades of repression and release their iron-fisted grip on Iran and her people.

Nebenzia went on to ask mockingly whether the Security Council should have had meetings to discuss internal USA issues such as protests in Ferguson, Missouri, or the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The Kazakh representative who chaired the meeting openly earlier said that the protest in Iran is not an issue of regional or worldwide security and it is not in the UNSC responsibilities to deal with it.

Nearly a week of sporadically violent protests involving upwards of 50,000 demonstrators in the Middle Eastern country has seen at least 22 killed, as Tehran authorities accuse the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia of tacitly fomenting unrest that began in late December 2017.

"It is up to the Iranians, and to the Iranians alone, to pursue the path of peaceful dialogue, a dialogue based on full respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Iranian people", French Ambassador Francois Delattre said.

The United States, which has voiced support for the anti-government protests that have swept Iran over the past week, called for the emergency session.

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

Zarif also mentioned an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council on Friday.

She added: "Freedom and human dignity can not be separated from peace and security".

But Khamenei and his hardline allies have criticised Rouhani for failing to revive the economy after most sanctions on Iran were lifted in 2016 under a nuclear deal reached between Tehran and major powers aimed at curbing the country's nuclear programme.

Iranian authorities have declared the unrest over and held three days of large pro-government rallies across the country between Wednesday and Friday. "You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!"

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

Uncertainty over how long the protests will continue has prompted European countries to collectively take a much more cautious approach to what it says publicly than the US.

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