U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley: Protests in Iran, a spontaneous expression of fundamental human rights

The United Nations Security Council convened an emergency meeting that was called for by the United States, to discuss the latest unrest raging across Iran. US Ambassador to the world body, Nikki Haley defined the protests taking place across the Islamic Republic as a “spontaneous expression of fundamental human rights,” which she stressed “is something the world must take note-of.” Haley further emphasized that while several member-states of the powerful council reject discussing Human Rights, the United States strongly believes that the voice of the Iranian people “should be heard.” Haley said, “The United States stands unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves, prosperity for their families and dignity for their nation. We will not be quiet. No dishonest attempt to call the protesters puppets of foreign powers will change that. The Iranian people know the truth and we know the truth. They are acting of their own will, on their own behalf for their own future. Nothing will stop Americans from standing in solidarity with them,” the U.S. ambassador told the Security Council.

In response to the emergency meeting, Russia accused the United States of using the council’s platform to bolster its efforts in scrapping the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran that effectively limited Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief – allegations Washington vehemently denied. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said, “Mr. President, today we are witnessing how the United States is abusing the platform of the security council. Why is the United States, a permanent member of the Security Council and one of the authors of the U.N. Charter, undermining the authority of the Security Council as the main body which is responsible for maintaining international peace and security? I think it is obvious for everyone that the topic chosen today does not fall within the parameters established by the U.N. Charter for this Security Council…” “The real reason for convening today’s meeting is not an attempt to protect human rights or promote the interests of the Iranian people, but rather as a veiled attempt to use the current situation to continue to undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran nuclear deal),” the Russian Ambassador alleged.

The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic also voiced his country’s anger at the emergency meeting, accusing the powerful body of allowing “itself to be abused by the current U.S. administration in holding a meeting on an issue that falls outside the scope of its mandate,” while reiterating an accusation Tehran levelled at Washington, in which it seeks to bolster the protests against the Ayatollah government in hope of bringing about a change of the regime. Iranian Ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo asserted, “The move by the United States to bring to this council a protest in Iran by some of our citizens for legitimate grievances, some exacerbated by none other than U.S. itself in its dereliction of its obligation under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is an abuse of its power as a permanent member and an abuse of the council itself. It is unfortunate that despite the resistance on the part some of its members, this council has allowed itself to be abused by the current U.S. administration in holding a meeting on an issue that falls outside the scope of its mandate,” Ambassador Khoshroo stressed. The other members of the security council held a somewhat unified position, in which the unrest in Iran did not pose a threat to international peace and security. Nevertheless, British Ambassador to the world body Matthew Rycroft took the opportunity to stressed, that while London recognizes the Iranian people as an ancient and important civilization that has a rightful place in the modern world with a modern economy, the Islamic Republic pursues a policy that clearly destabilizes the Middle East. Amb. Rycroft stated, “The Iranian people represent an ancient and important civilization that has a rightful place in the modern world with a modern economy. But too often Iran’s security interests are pursued in a way that destabilizes, and at times, directly threatens others, supports terrorism and distorts the Iranian economy. These regional activities risk increasing international conflict and threaten international peace and security. We are deeply concerned by Iranian assistance to groups in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq,” the British Ambassador told the UNSC’s members.