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'Raising Iran unrest at United Nations a blunder'
08 January 2018, 04:08 | Kara Nash
Pro-regime rallies in Tehran as US imposes sanctions
The Trump administration should not only stop threatening the country with more sanctions, but should also let the Iranian people decide their internal affairs for themselves. But tens of thousands have also reportedly taken part in pro-government rallies in recent days.
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 global peace and security".
Ahead of the meeting it was clear that the Council would not be able to even come up with a resolution or a statement on the Iranian protests because of opposition from veto-wielding permanent member Russian Federation and others.
But Russia and Iran complained tartly that the USA was dragging a council focused on global security into what they called a domestic matter.
Hundreds carried out demonstrations in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Germany in support of Iranian protesters facing repression from the government in the past two weeks.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter after the session that the Security Council "rebuffed the U.S.' naked attempt to hijack its mandate".
Britain and France reiterated that Iran must respect the rights of protesters, but French Ambassador Francois Delattre said the "events of the past days do not constitute a threat to peace and global security".
He said that Trump was joining the Islamic State and its regional patrons to incite attacks on Iran.
Trump's administration has denied having any hand in the demonstrations, saying they arose completely spontaneously.
The president has tweeted to commend the protests, expressing "such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government" and pledged "great support from the United States".
He discussed the cancellation of the visit of the french foreign minister to Tehran during the previous week and said "this is unacceptable that a country has the largest number of economic agreements with Iran on paper, but adopts political and security policies that are totally against our country".
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