Iran stages pro-government rallies, derides Trump 'blunder' at UN

Bolivian President Evo Morales

Following recent unrests in certain parts of Iran, US Representative to the UN Nikki Haley in a speech to reporters at the UN headquarters on January 2 accused Iran of violating human rights and freedom of expression and said Washington was after sessions on Iran by UNSC in NY and UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

Naghavi said that the USA marshalled all its forces and capacities to turn the conditions in Iran into a crisis and asserted "Ambassador Haley's call for emergency United Nations session on Iran protests was another interventionist measure".

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

The U.S. called the meeting after giving moral support to the anti-government protesters in a week of demonstrations and counterdemonstrations.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of several European cities, Canada and the U.S. expressing solidarity with the Iranian uprising and calling for the Khamenei regime to step down.

Haley said Friday that "the world should applaud their courage", and the US "stands unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves".

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.

Still, the United Nations charter empowers the council to "investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to global friction", and the USA wasn't alone in thinking the Iranian protests qualified.

The Netherlands hoped the meeting would "work as a preventive measure to avoid further escalation of violence", Dutch Ambassador Karel van Oosterom said. Authorities say the anti-government protests are waning.

Iran's prosecutor general, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, alleged Thursday that an American CIA official was the "main designer" of the demonstrations.

"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 worldwide peace and security?" The CIA declined to comment.

I agree with Roger Cohen that the Trump administration "should stop berating the nuclear deal".

The president has tweeted to commend the protests, expressing "such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government" and pledged "great support from the United States".

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

In a combative speech, Mr Trump accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism and proposed new sanctions.

There was concern over the nuclear deal made in 2015 by Iran with the five permanent members, Germany and the European Union that lifted sanctions against Tehran. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said more sanctions "targeting human rights abuses are coming".

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