Published: Sun, January 07, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Russian Federation rejects U.S. proposal for United Nations emergency meeting on Iran

Russian Federation rejects U.S. proposal for United Nations emergency meeting on Iran

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

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley pushed for the meeting of the top United Nations body, arguing the unrest could escalate into full-blown conflict and drawing a comparison with Syria.

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Iran's United Nations envoy, who was sitting in on the session despite not being a council member, agreed, calling Friday's session an "abuse of its [the U.S.'s] power as a permanent member, and an abuse of the council itself".

In Moscow, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov made it clear that the protests in Iran did not pose an worldwide threat and should not be a topic for debate within the council.

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

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.

'However worrying the events of the last few days in Iran may be, they do not constitute per se a threat to worldwide peace and security'.

"And people in Iran and throughout should be able to access those sites".

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

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

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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".

U.S. president Donald Trump has voiced encouragement for anti-government demonstrations which broke out in Iran.

"We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked", Haley said in a. Haley said the U.S. had negotiated a $285 million reduction of the United Nations budget for 2018-2019 compared to the budget for 2016-2017.

Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and the Netherlands began their stint at the Security Council on January 1.

Meanwhile, Russia urged the USA not to interfere in what Moscow calls Iran's "domestic affairs", TASS news agency cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Thursday as saying.

At least 21 people have been killed in Iran after anti-government protests broke out in late December.

In the following days, however, the protests appeared to turn into anti-government rallies, spreading to Tehran, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Zanjan, Ahvaz and Arak provinces.

Russian Federation and its allies would need nine votes from the Security Council's 15 members in order to nix the meeting, a feat which would seem unlikely.

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.

"We see no role for the United Nations Security Council in this issue", he said, according to the agency.

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