United States fails to get UNSC action on Iranian protests

Bolivian President Evo Morales

Bolivian President Evo Morales

Donald Trump has tweeted his support for the anti-government protesters, warning Iran that the "world is watching".

Amid the unrest and anti-government rallies that began last week, Iran has also seen three days of pro-government demonstrations, with crowds in the tens of thousands. And Iranian Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo - whose country isn't a Security Council member but was invited to participate Friday - said the protests had gotten "direct encouragement by foreign forces including by the president of the United States".

The British envoy was addressing the United Nations Security Council session which had been held at the request of the United States to discuss recent unrests in some parts of Iran.

The statement, backed by other nations, carry an implicit criticism of the USA for refusing to acknowledge the Security Council's main responsibility which is maintaining worldwide peace and security.

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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.

"The world should applaud their courage" and amplify their message, said UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, portraying the protests as a human rights issue that could spill over into an worldwide problem.

"However worrying the events of the last few days in Iran may be, they do not constitute per se a threat to global peace and security", Ambassador Francois Delattre said.

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 worldwide security". He pointed out that Trump has a history of making "belligerent" comments about Iran. Trump expressed "such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government" and pledged "great support from the United States".

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China also described the meeting as meddling in Iran's affairs.

The Security Council "rebuffed the U.S.' naked attempt to hijack its mandate", Mr. Zarif wrote on Twitter.

Treasure Secretary Mnuchin said that the Trump administration "will continue to decisively counter the Iranian regime's malign activity, including additional sanctions targeting human rights abuses".

He said his government has "hard evidence" recent protests in Iran were very clearly directed from overseas.

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