Thursday, 21 February, 2019

Iran grapples with how to deal with protests

Iran grapples with how to deal with protests Iran grapples with how to deal with protests
Melinda Barton | 13 January, 2018, 08:12

"The United States is abusing the platform of the Security Council", said Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, whose country has close ties to Iran, adding: "Let Iran deal with its own problems".

"The Iranian issue does not pose any threat on worldwide peace and security, nor is it on the agenda of the Security Council", China's Ambassador to the U.N. Wu Haitao said.

The U.S. envoy to the United Nations says an emergency Security Council meeting on the protests in Iran is putting the Islamic Republic on notice that "the world will be watching what you do".

"The Iranian authorities should take immediate action to ensure that all citizens can exercise peacefully the right to freedom of expression and assembly, and should ensure that these and other fundamental rights are not met with violence, to avoid any further casualties", they said. They denounced a fraudulent election and, as the days went on, they began to demand that the unelected ayatollahs end their decades of repression and release their iron-fisted grip on Iran and her people.

But Russia's envoy shot back that if the United States view holds, the council should have also discussed the 2014 unrest in the USA suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, over the police shooting of a black teenager or the U.S. crackdown on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

French Ambassador to the UN Francois Delattre said the protests do not threaten global peace and security, Radio Pakistan reports.

It has largely tapered off. Clashes with security forces have resulted in up to 22 protesters' deaths and hundreds of arrests.

On Thursday, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said that, at most, 42,000 people took part in anti-government protests.

Time for change? Neocons press Trump to sanction Iran over protests

Iran's foreign minister on Monday warned neighbouring countries over fomenting insecurity in Iran in a reference to anti-government protests that have roiled the country over the past two weeks.

The authorities have produced no evidence to support assertions of US involvement in the protests, which lacked a unifying leader.

Tehran University Vice-President Majid Sarsangi said the university had set up a committee to track the fate of students arrested during the unrest. Even so, the people of Iran continue to express their distrust with the government, in hopes of living in a better and brighter world for themselves and their families to come.

Not all council members see a need to weigh in. She added that it would be "telling if any country tries to deny the Security Council from even having this discussion".

The anti-government demonstrations first broke out in Mashhad, Iran's second-largest city, on December 28 and later spread to several other cities and towns.

The statement by four Special Rapporteurs - expert advisers to the United Nations who work on a voluntary basis - comes eight days after anti-government protests first broke out in Iran.

While the talks involving the White House, the State Department and Congress wouldn't increase restrictions on Iran's nuclear activity, as Trump also wants, they could strengthen the way the USA enforces the agreement, perhaps convincing Trump that it's worthwhile for the stay in it.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom came under fire this week after she spoke with the national media about Sweden's "great concern and dismay" about the events in Iran, but expressed skepticism about the need for a meeting at the United Nations.