Iran stages pro-govt rallies, economic concerns raised

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"The world will be watching what you do", United States ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has warned Iran during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the situation in the Islamic nation which has faced a series of nationwide anti-government protests.

A United Nations Security Council meeting on Friday to discuss the protests turned into criticism of the United States for requesting to meet on what some member states said was an internal issue for Iran.

Efforts by the Trump administration to marshal a muscular worldwide response to Iran's crackdown on anti-government protesters appeared to have backfired, as members of the UN Security Council lectured the United States ambassador on the proper goal of the body and to reaffirm support for the Iran nuclear agreement.

Khoshroo also said the USA had abused its power as a permanent member of the UN Security Council by calling for a meeting to discuss the protests.

We stand with the proud people of Iran because it is right, and because the regime in Tehran threatens the peace and security of the world.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said the emergency session put Iran on notice that "the world will be watching" its actions.

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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".

The Kazakh representative who chaired the meeting openly earlier said that the protest in Iran is not an issue of regional or worldwide security and it is not in the UNSC responsibilities to deal with it.

Almost 20 people have died during the anti-government protests that began on December 28 in Mashhad, Iran's second-largest city, over the condition of the economy and food inflation.

Iran's interior minister said up to 42,000 people took part in the week of protests and unrest sparked by economic woes.

Tens of thousands of government supporters rallied across Iran on, swearing allegiance to the clerical establishment and accusing arch enemy the United States of instigating the largest anti-government protests in almost a decade.

Protesters in Germany called on the German government and the worldwide community to condemn what they called "mass killings" on the streets of Iran. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday that more sanctions "will be coming" in an interview with CNN. While allies like the United Kingdom and France censured the government as well, they also went out of their way to note Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal - and called on "all parties" to uphold their commitments to it. She said the worldwide community must also "do more" to prevent Iran from silencing protesters' messages, particularly by blocking some social media platforms.

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"We are very disturbed by the way the authorities have responded to the protests", the experts said a joint statement.

A day after Iran and the global powers announced the deal, former President Barack Obama conceded Iran would likely use sanctions relief funds linked to the pact to fund its terrorist proxies, namely the Lebanon-based Hezbollah, which is known to operate in the United States' backyard, Latin America.

The meeting began as a closed-door session but the United States was able to ensure a second, open phase of talks thereafter, despite resistance from Russia, France, Bolivia and other members.

In order for the Council meeting that Haley wants to take place, she would need a minimum of nine votes from Council members.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif yesterday ridiculed Mr Trump over the "blunder" of trying to raise Iran's recent protests at the Security Council. Amid the wave of anti-government unrest, massive pro-government rallies were also staged across Iran, with participants reportedly numbering in the tens of thousands.

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