Bolivia Slams US 'Clumsiness' at UNSC Meeting On Iran Protests

Iranian Protestors

The U.S. called the United Nations meeting on Friday, portraying the protests as a human rights issue that could spill over into an worldwide problem.

Russia's Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia said that if the Council followed the reasoning behind convening the the meeting over domestic protests in Iran, it should have met after the protests in the United States that followed the killing of an African-American teenager in Ferguson by a white police officer in 2014.

The state broadcaster showed pro-government rallies in several cities, starting with Amol, in the northern province of Mazandaram, with hundreds of people waving the Iranian flag and chanting slogans against the USA and Israel.

At Friday rallies in Iran, pro-government demonstrators chanted "Death to America" and "Death to Israel". A similar rally followed Friday prayers in Tehran. It has been opposed by Trump who has to certify this month to the US Congress that Iran is complying with it in order for Washington to continue with the terms of the agreement.

But US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, was defiant. The world is watching!' he tweeted, quoting from the speech.

"The Iranian regime is finally on notice: The world will be watching what you do", she continued.

Iran is not a member of the Security Council but its ambassador, Gholamali Khoshroo, was invited to participate.

The statement drew vehement retorts from Russian Federation and Iran, which drew attention to protests within the United States that had been put down.

Solidarity with the historic resistance of the people of Iran for freedom
Solidarity with the historic resistance of the people of Iran for freedom

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

Furthermore, U.S. -allied France and the United Kingdom defended the the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran's nuclear program, and noted Iran's compliance. Envoys from several other countries, from China to newcomer Equatorial Guinea, expressed reservations about whether the council was the right forum for the issue.

The UN charter empowers to the council to "investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to worldwide friction", and the US wasn't alone in thinking the Iranian protests qualified.

"Why is the United States, a permanent member of the Security Council and one of the authors of the UN Charter, undermining the authority of the Security Council as the main body responsible for maintaining global peace and security?"

Lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeghi said that around 90 university students- 58 of them in the capital Tehran- have been detained since protests broke out, the semi-official ILNA news agency reported Saturday.

France's ambassador to the United Nations told the meeting that recent protests in Iran do not threaten global peace and security.

"It is right and proper - indeed, our responsibility ... to assess whether a situation like this could become a threat to worldwide peace and security", British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said before the meeting.

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".




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