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US faces criticism at Security Council meeting on Iran protests

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US faces criticism at Security Council meeting on Iran protests

US faces criticism at Security Council meeting on Iran protests
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The United States faced criticism at the UN Security Council on Friday for convening the body to discuss recent protests in Iran.

Some members argued that it was an internal issue for Tehran which claims the demonstrations were directed from abroad.

But US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, was defiant.

"We will not be quiet," she told the meeting.

"No dishonest attempt to call the protesters 'puppets of foreign powers' will change that. The Iranian people know the truth and we know the truth. Nothing will stop Americans from standing in solidarity with them."

However, France's UN ambassador Francois Delattre argued that the protests don't threaten international peace and security, saying: "We must be wary of any attempts to exploit this crisis for personal ends."

For Russia's UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, the meeting was an attempt to undermine the Iran nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump opposes. Nebenzia asked:

"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 international peace and security?"

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif wrote on his Twitter account that the meeting was "another foreign policy blunder for the Trump administration".

At Friday rallies in Iran, pro-government demonstrators chanted "Death to America" and "Death to Israel".

Blaming cyberspace for stoking unrest, Tehran's Friday prayer leader, cleric Ahmad Khatami, called on the Islamic Republic to create and oversee its own social media applications.

Protests erupted in Iran over a week ago after the government announced plans to raise fuel prices and cut monthly cash handouts to lower-income Iranians. The unrest spread to over 80 cities and towns and has resulted in 22 deaths and more than 1,000 arrests, according to Iranian officials.

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with Reuters