US under fire during UN Security Council meeting on Iran protests

Vanessa Beaulieu
Janvier 14, 2018

Alma Konurbayeva, press officer for Kazakhstan, the Security Council president for January, confirmed to CBS News' Pamela Falk that Friday afternoon's meeting - called for by Haley - was on the agenda.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley played up the idea that this was something to do with terrorism, and demanded Iran listen to the protesters. The United States had called the meeting, portraying Iranian protests as a human rights issue that could spill over into an international problem.

Russia's UN envoy said the "abusing the platform of the Security Council" by calling an emergency meeting on the protests that have roiled Iran in recent days. A large number of young, disenfranchised and poor/unemployed young people take to the streets of a Middle East nation to complain about their poverty, the corruption of the regime, their own lack of freedom - and quickly, they turn against their own leaders. "We want to go the other way". "And we know the truth", Haley said.

In one of the Hezbollah leader's speeches, he described al-Sabhan as "zaatout", a derogatory Arabic term that means variously "little monkey with lots of hair" or an "adult who behaves like a child". With a young, tech-savvy population that wants more freedom and a better economy, the Iranian politicians' fear of youth organisations is not surprising.

Late on Saturday, videos on social media showed a heavy police presence in cities, including Khorramabad in southwestern Iran where on Wednesday evening social media posts showed protesters throwing stones at riot police.

Nebenzia pointed out the real reason for convening the meeting was not a desire to protect human rights or promote the interest of the Iranian people, but rather an attempt to undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Those brave protesters looked to the leader of the free world for support.

The U.S. imposed new sanctions Thursday on five Iranian entities over their involvement in developing ballistic missiles. This has made most banks wary of processing money for Iran or extending credit to its firms, and so the promised economic benefits of the deal never arrived. Israel has been Iran's excuse to expand its influence in the Arab world. For them, the entire system has to fall for a new Iran to be reborn.

Though events in Iran are murky, their direction is historic.

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Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addressed a security conference in Tehran on Monday, echoing the Iranian authorities' stance which alleges that foreign countries have stirred up unrest linked to the protests.

The danger of foreign intervention in any future political instability in Iran is that it will result in massive polarisation and, potentially, civil war.

The West should also help keep communications open with Iran. They are attacking the Iranian leadership because they feel that the military ventures have taken priority over the people's welfare.

Al-Sabhan would often chat with politicians, journalists and businessmen at a cafe in Beirut's upscale Verdun neighborhood, said the man, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversations.

Iranian officials have blamed the demonstrations on foreign meddling and at the UN on Friday Mr Khoshroo said Tehran had "hard evidence" that they were "very clearly directed from abroad". President Donald Trump has been particularly harsh, tweeting his support for Iranians who "are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime".

"It is right and proper - indeed, our responsibility ... to assess whether a situation like this could become a threat to international peace and security", British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said before the meeting. But what is realistic about failing to stand up to a Putin or a Castro or a gaggle of ayatollahs?

This will not happen in Iran.

For our own national integrity and identity we must be that shining city on a hill - the beacon of liberty for all who seek it. And we must be willing to give a portion of our individual lives, fortunes, and sacred honor for the freedoms we cherish and believe should be universal.

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