Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Sweden rejects United States call for UNSC session over Iran riots

Handle with care Russia: US Call for UN Meeting on Iran “Destructive”
Glenn Montgomery | 07 January, 2018, 01:15

Iran's UN Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo told the Security Council that his government has "hard evidence" that recent protests in Iran were "very clearly directed from abroad".

US President Donald Trump and a number of other US officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, have sided with the protesters.

"And let there be no doubt whatsoever, the United States stands unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves, prosperity for their families and dignity for their nation", she added. One of the largest demonstrations was at Tehran's Imam Khomeini Musalla Mosque, where thousands of protesters blasted the US and chanted anti-U.S. slogans.

The president's tweets have not called for violence or disruptive acts, but he has commended them.

The U.S. tried to use the protests as a pretext to make attacks against the UN-endorsed nuclear agreement.

The State Department is monitoring the protests, which it said are the product of Iranians' desire for dignified treatment, snuffing out corruption, more government transparency, better economic opportunities and an end to "military adventurism overseas", department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

"The government continues to imprison and kill those who are courageous enough to venture into the street".

The US administration has also imposed unilateral sanctions on five Iranian companies linked to Tehran's ballistic missile program.

The statement closed, vowing, "To the regime's victims, we say: You will not be forgotten".

"We recognize that several designated countries are working to improve their respect for religious freedom; we welcome these initiatives and look forward to continued dialogue", the State Department said of the redesignations. She also called government of Iran to "stop censoring the voice of the people, and to restore the access to the Internet".

He said that while Moscow regrets the loss of lives in the protests, Iran should be left to "deal with its own problems".

He said social media apps were "legitimate avenues of communication".

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

On Wednesday, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps pinned the number at 15,000.

The protests began a week ago over Iran's stagnant economy and the rising cost of living, and developed into a broader outcry against the government.

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.

Iranian and USA officials have traded barbs for the past week, and Tehran maintains that the United States and its allies orchestrated the unrest.

United States president Donald Trump and members of his administration have praised the anti-government demonstrators as people standing up to a repressive and corrupt regime that is trying to silence them.

He criticized European nations and the United Nations for failing to "forcefully speak out" on Iran.

Trump's repeated tweets backing protesters during Iran's unrest were rebuffed by marchers on Friday.

Trump's administration has denied having any hand in the demonstrations, saying they arose completely spontaneously.

Russian Federation said the United States is exploiting the protests in Iran in order to derail the landmark nuclear deal.

Reacting to the move made by the US, Russia's envoy Vassily Nebenzia said involving the council in an "internal affair" damaged the top United Nations body.

The United Kingdom's ambassadorto the United Nations has encouraged all member states to stay committed to the Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), IRNA reports.

"The world has witnessed the horrors that have taken place in Syria, that began with a murderous regime denying its people's right to peacefully protest", Haley said in a statement late Thursday.

But at the same time, Iran has called on Telegram to block "terrorist channels", according to state TV IRIB, in another apparent effort to prevent more protests.

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