(CNN) US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Sunday touted a quarter billion dollar cut to the UN's annual budget, capping off a contentious year between the Trump administration and the worldwide body.
The United States is tapping social media to incite protesters "to change their government", thus tampering in Iranian affairs, the Islamic republic alleged in a Thursday letter to the United Nations. One of the largest demonstrations was at Tehran's Imam Khomeini Musalla Mosque, where thousands of protesters blasted the USA and chanted anti-U.S. slogans. Maryam Rajavi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran called in a video statement for the Security Council to "stand with the Iranian people in their struggle for freedom, democracy and human rights". Russian Federation has been vocal in its opposition to the session, with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov accusing the USA of infringing on Iran's sovereignty.
The U.S. tried to use the protests as a pretext to make attacks against the UN-endorsed nuclear agreement.
United States president Donald Trump has voiced encouragement for anti-government demonstrations which broke out in Iran. "The world will be watching what you do", Haley said. "They are attempting to silence the voice of the Iranian people". Some demonstrators openly chanted anti-government slogans at both the hard line clerics who run the country and at President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who promised more political freedoms and economic improvements following sanctions relief after the 2015 nuclear deal.
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"And people in Iran and throughout should be able to access those sites". The days of pro-government rallies drew crowds in the tens of thousands.
While the U.S. and its European partners - including the United Kingdom, France and Germany - all fundamentally support the right of Iranian demonstrators to peacefully protest, they disagree in their analysis of where the situation on the ground is headed and over the strategic value of ramping up the rhetoric publicly, sources have told CNN. When the rights of the people are denied, the people rightly resist.
He criticized European nations and the United Nations for failing to "forcefully speak out" on Iran. On the ground in Iran, however, the unrest appears to have ebbed on Friday.
A representative from Iran was also present at Friday's meeting.
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Trump's administration has denied having any hand in the demonstrations, saying they arose completely spontaneously.
"In the end, the Iranian people will determine their own destiny, 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", Haley said.
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov went so far as to say the United States was leveraging the protests to undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
"It is unfortunate that despite the resistance on the part of some of its members, this council has allowed itself to be abused by the current USA administration in holding a meeting on an issue that falls outside the scope of its mandate", said Khoshroo.
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