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    US Ambassador to the UN and current UN Security Council president, Nikki Haley arrives for a United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria, at the UN headquarters in New York

    Russia Criticizes US Call for UNSC Emergency Session Over Protests in Iran

    © AFP 2018 / Jewel SAMAD
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia considers the call of the United States to convene an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) over the protests in Iran harmful and destructive, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Sputnik on Thursday.

    "We do not see any UNSC role in this issue… [In Iran] there are certain domestic processes, the UNSC is a certain body, which is responsible under the UN Charter for maintaining international peace and security, Iran's internal issues have nothing to do to this UNSC function," Ryabkov said.

    The Russian diplomat explained that it would be difficult to predict the results of the potential UNSC session, but the idea to hold the session was destructive.

    "Of course we cannot predict the developments of the situation as for a call of this hypothetical session, but I am sure that in contrast with this harmful and destructive US idea, we will set out our position, which is very consistent and is fully based on the adherence to the norms of international law," Ryabkov said.

    A similar position has been expressed by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, who mocked the US' stance on her Facebook.

    "Media: The US will call for an emergency meeting of UN Security Council and UN Human Rights Commission, — US envoy to UN Nikki Haley said.

    Haley can, for example, share the US experience of putting down protests, tell [the Security Council] about the mass arrests and crackdown against the Occupy Wall Street movement or about the "clean-up operation" in Fergusson"

    The comments follow US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley's January 1 announcement that Washington would urge to convene an "urgent" meeting of the UN Security Council on protests in Iran, citing the necessity to support the demonstrators by the international community, praising their "great bravery".

    "The people of Iran are crying out for freedom," Haley told journalists during a news conference. "All freedom-loving people must stand with their cause," she added.

    READ MORE: Iran Fries US for 'Intervention' and Trump's 'Absurd Tweets' About Protests

    Kazakhstan's envoy to the UN Kairat Umarov, currently holding the rotating presidency of the UNSC, has reacted to the issue by saying that the council had not yet added it to their agenda and the corresponding decision had not been made.

    Possible Sanctions

    The Russian deputy foreign minister has also touched upon the issue of possible sanctions against Iran over the social unrest in the country. 

    "Our position is well known, unilateral sanctions, as a way to resolve problems relating to foreign policy, are unacceptable, they are illegitimate. The problem is that the oversimplification of the US foreign policy has gone too far. [The United States], in my opinion, has no other tools apart from sanctions in their arsenal of doing business with other members of the international community that are not ready to stand in line and follow the United States," Ryabkov said.

    "We will counter Washington's sanctions pressuring as we used to. And our position fully applies to the situation in the US-Iranian relations. We categorically reject such tricks and insist that the threats to impose sanctions are also illegitimate," Ryabkov added.

    On Tuesday, Washington said it was considering the imposition of sanctions on Tehran in response to the Iranian authorities actions with regard to the participants of mass protests in the country.

    Since December 28, several large Iranian cities have seen a number of protests against the worsening economic conditions in Iran, high fuel and food prices, unemployment, inflation and air pollution. At least 20 people have reportedly been killed so far, and 450 people have been detained.

    Tehran has stated that the people of Iran have the "constitutional right" to protest peacefully over economic and social problems, but also said that forces supported from abroad, including from the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, were involved in the protests, aiming to destabilize the country.

    READ MORE: Former CIA Chief Slams Trump for Derailing 'Peaceful Political Reform' in Iran

    Tags:
    emergency session, protests, UN Human Rights Committee, UN Security Council, Iran, United States
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