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Security Council to hold emergency meeting on Iran protests

05 January 2018
Security Council to hold emergency meeting on Iran protests

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. The U.S. called on Tuesday for such a session, but council members could insist on a vote before taking up the topic, and it would take nine of the 15 votes to go forward.

Diplomats said Thursday there could be a request from Russian Federation or from other countries to hold a procedural vote ahead of the meeting. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last month by Myanmar's government against the Asian nation's Rohingya Muslim minority amounted to "ethnic cleansing."Haley's Christmas Eve announcement on cuts to the UN budget for 2018-2019 came days after the US in years at the UN Security Council". Meanwhile, thousands of people took part in pro-government rallies Wednesday and Thursday. And Iran's United Nations envoy, Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo, complained in a letter to the Security Council president Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump's "absurd tweets" had "incited Iranians to engage in disruptive acts".

At least 21 people have died and hundreds have been arrested as protests over economic woes turned against the government in Tehran, with attacks on government buildings and police stations. The CIA declined to comment.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said this week that Washington was seeking emergency sessions on Iran at the United Nations in NY and at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

In Moscow earlier, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned the United States against "any attempt to interfere in the internal affairs" of Iran.

"The people of Iran are crying out for freedom".

"The whole territory of the U.S.is within the range of our nuclear strike and a nuclear button is always on the desk of my office and this is just a reality, not a threat", he said, while emphasising that the weapons would only be used if North Korea was threatened.

The Iranian protests have given Trump a fresh avenue to try to muster world opinion against a nation he has decried since he ran for president.

The 2015 Iran deal gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.

Commenting on the possibility of new U.S. sanctions on Iran, Ryabkov said such methods were "illegitimate". "We pray that freedom and human rights will carry the day".