United States faces criticism at Security Council meeting on Iran protests

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Demonstrations were quickly backed by Iran's main worldwide detractors: the U.S., Israel. Some demonstrators have called for the government's overthrow.

But US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, was defiant.

"The Iranian regime is finally on notice: The world will be watching what you do", she continued.

Briefing the Security Council, Taye-Brook Zerihoun, Assistant UN Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said the demonstrations taking place in Iran were a fundamental expression of human rights, and a powerful exhibition of courageous people who were so fed up with their oppressive regime that they were willing to risk their lives in protest.

How does America proclaim herself a friend of the Iranian people if we are trying to persuade Europeans to abrogate the nuclear accord and reinstitute the sanctions that impoverish the Iranian people?

Russia's Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia said that if the Council followed the reasoning behind convening the the meeting over domestic protests in Iran, it should have met after the protests in the U.S. that followed the killing of an African-American teenager in Ferguson by a white police officer in 2014.

Russia, a close ally of Iran's, agreed. Envoys from several other countries, from China to newcomer Equatorial Guinea, expressed reservations about whether the council was the right forum for the issue.

Britain and France reiterated that Iran must respect the rights of protesters, but French Ambassador Francois Delattre said the "events of the past days do not constitute a threat to peace and global security".

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"It's another attempt [at bullying] by the USA, which has lost authority and credibility in the eyes of the whole world", said Khoshroo.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly tweeted praise for the protesters, infuriating Iranian officials.

He said his government has "hard evidence" recent protests in Iran were very clearly directed from overseas.

U.S. President Donald Trump has voiced encouragement for the anti-government protesters.

Trump's administration has denied having any hand in the demonstrations, saying they arose completely spontaneously.

"And I call on the Government of Iran to stop censoring the voice of the people and to restore the access to the internet". He also has described Iran as "failing at every level" and declared it is "TIME FOR CHANGE!"

As the Iranian protests continue into its eighth day, and the regime carries out its violent crackdown, the world is indeed watching. The days of pro-government rallies drew crowds in the tens of thousands.

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif pointed to Mr. Trump's own previous comments voicing support for the Iranian people, saying the U.S. leader had an "odd way of showing "such respect" for Iranians". Due to the Trump administration, it's not only watching, it's also acting.