UNITED NATIONS – The United States announced on Tuesday that it is seeking an urgent session of the United Nations Security Council to craft a response to the anti-government protests currently under way in Iran.
“The freedoms that are enshrined in the United Nations charter are under attack in Iran,” said US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. “If the Iranian dictatorship’s history is any guide, we can expect more outrageous abuses in the days to come. The UN must speak out.”
“We must not be silent. The people are crying out for freedom. All freedom loving people must stand with their cause. The international community made the mistake of failing to do that in 2009. We must not make that mistake again,” she said.
Haley said that Washington’s idea is to hold a UN Security Council session in Geneva in the coming days.
“This is the precise picture of a long oppressed people rising up against their dictators. The international community has a role to play on this,” she added.
Haley also said that the massive popular protests against the Iranian government of Hassan Rouhani are “spontaneous” and are under way in virtually all Iranian cities.
She said that the protests had resulted in “dozens” of dead and “hundreds” of people arrested, going on to praise the courage of the demonstrators.
When asked about the possibility of the US applying unilateral sanctions against Tehran, Haley said that this was not currently under consideration within the Donald Trump administration.
Kazakhstan’s UN ambassador, Kairat Umarov, later said that the issue of Iran is still not on the Security Council’s current agenda, adding that including it will depend on getting agreement from the member nations.
Kazakhstan holds the rotating Security Council presidency during the month of January.
Umarov confirmed that Haley had broached the subject of an extraordinary Security Council session, adding that the Council was ready to work on that and is open to including the issue of Iran on its agenda if the member states can definitively agree to do so.