Iran unrest divides UN Security Council meeting

US warns Iran at United Nations says the world will be watching

A U.N. Security Council emergency meeting on the protests roiling Iran is putting Tehran on notice that "the world will be watching" what it does, the USA ambassador said Friday.

Haley said that "in the end, the Iranian people will determine their own destiny", and she reiterated United States support for the protesters.

The British envoy was addressing the United Nations Security Council session which had been held at the request of the United States to discuss recent unrests in some parts of Iran.

Twenty-one people, a lot of them demonstrators, have died in protests that began nearly a week ago in Iran's second-largest city of Mashhad; hundreds more have been arrested.

Some other members urged a careful approach to weighing in on the protests: "Yes, of course, to vigilance and call for full respect of freedom of expression, but no to instrumentalization of the crisis from the outside — because it would only reinforce the extremes, which is precisely what we want to avoid", French Ambassador Francois Delattre said before the meeting.

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"And let there be no doubt whatsoever, the United States stands unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves, prosperity for their families and dignity for their nation", she added.

Diplomats had expected Russian Federation to call a procedural vote to try to block the meeting, but in the end, Moscow's envoy did not make that request.

For a new agenda item to be discussed at the Security Council, at least nine of the 15 council members must support holding the meeting.

The U.S. on Friday sought to highlight the importance for the Security Council of ongoing demonstrations in Iran, prompting criticism from some member states who questioned the topic's validity within the institution tasked with maintaining global peace and security. "The Iranian regime is now on notice: the world will be watching what you do".

In Moscow, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov made it clear that the protests in Iran did not pose an global threat and should not be a topic for debate within the council. "They do so shamelessly", Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

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Nebenzia remarks echoed those of Moscow's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov, who accused the U.S. of "shamelessly" interfering in the in a "situation that is of purely national concern to Iran".

U.S. President Donald Trump and members of his administration have praised the anti-government protesters as people standing up to a repressive and corrupt regime. Now pro-government protests are taking their place, and on Thursday, regime supporters marched through parts of the country for a second day in a row.

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A tweet Tuesday from the Russian mission to the United Nations raised the idea of the Security Council meeting about protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

Rycroft said too often Iran's legitimate security interests in middle east pursued in way that destabilizes, at times threatens others, supports terrorism, distorts Iranian economy.

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