United Nations human rights experts 'disturbed' by Iranian response to protests

A university student attends a protest inside Tehran University while a smoke grenade is thrown by anti-riot Iranian police on Dec. 30 2017. AP

A university student attends a protest inside Tehran University while a smoke grenade is thrown by anti-riot Iranian police on Dec. 30 2017. AP

The president has said that "oppressive regimes can not endure forever", and our administration will continue to support the protesters in their calls for freedom and demand that Iran's leaders cease their risky and destabilizing actions at home and overseas.

"The President and vice president of the United States, in their numerous absurd tweets, incited Iranians to engage in disruptive acts", the letter sent overnight reads.

The US responded to the recent unrest by calling for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and by slapping new sanctions on five Iranian companies Washington claims have been working on an illegal ballistic missile program. The meeting is being held at the request of the United States.

Sergei Ryabkov spoke several hours before the session is to convene.

State television broadcast live footage of the daytime rallies, in which marchers waved Iranian flags and portraits of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and chanted slogans in support of Iran's Islamist establishment. If the protests were to continue until then, it would mark the 39th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which saw the overthrow of the pro-western, US -backed Pahlavi dynasty. "How are people ignoring the fact that children are being killed?" "It is limiting the flow of information into Iran, restricting free speech, and attempting to prevent the outside world from observing its own repression", her statement said. "Why is the government not letting people speak out". "We are not saying what government is best for them".

"We must go back to the pre-nuclear deal situation", said Mr Araki.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei blamed the nationwide protests on "enemies of Iran". He must decide in mid-January if he wants to continue to waive energy sanctions on Iran. Diplomats said Russian Federation and China, among other countries, are expected to oppose taking action on Iran.

"And people in Iran and throughout should be able to access those sites".

In a sign of official concern about the resilience of the anti-government movement, the Revolutionary Guards' commander said he had dispatched forces to three provinces to tackle "the new sedition". People from major cities across the country converged on the capital, Tehran, to vent their anger when demonstrations began on December 28. CNN has not been able to verify either number.

In the wake of the demonstrations and the regime's brutal attempts to suppress them, President Barack Obama repeatedly failed to express America's solidarity with the Iranian protesters.

The Islamic State group has declared support for the anti-government protests in Iran.

Then Conservative MP Peter Mac Kay arrives with wife Nazanin Afshin Jam at Rideau Hall in Ottawa
Then Conservative MP Peter Mac Kay arrives with wife Nazanin Afshin Jam at Rideau Hall in Ottawa

There is no evidence that Washington had any direct role in orchestrating the anti-government protests, beyond the encouragement through social media and published remarks. The proposed defense budget has increased 40 percent over two years, as Iranian involvement in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon has escalated. They have since expanded to cities and towns in almost every province.

"The worst thing is for everyone to be siding with Trump cheering them on", the Western diplomat told CNN, noting that the Iranian regime is already manipulating U.S. and European comments to discredit the protests and claim they are the result of foreign interference. "This time, we will not be silent", he wrote in an opinion piece for the Washington Post.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence backed up Trump's tweets, telling Iranians that they should view the United States as a "natural ally" in their quest for freedom and democracy.

"Every single Iranian that I have spoken to or are friends of mine are watching this", said Farid Rohani, former chair of the Laurier Institution and an advisory board member of the non-profit Global Reporting Centre.

"Reports of the use of firearms against unarmed protesters by security forces are deeply troubling and would contravene Iran's human rights obligations under worldwide law", Philip Luther, Amnesty International's research and advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement on January 4.

In a Thursday tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif hit back at the White House for what he cast as duplicitous comments.

Instead of threatening the Iranian people with sanctions and war - a policy that allows the ayatollah to blame the United States for Iran's economic and political decline - Trump can draw on Reagan's sunny optimism: his innate faith in the power of human freedom and dignity.

"We warn the USA against attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran", Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the state news agency Tass on Thursday. Much like another president who made similar predictions about the Soviet Union, the president was mocked.

The government has since shut down access to Telegram and the photo-sharing app Instagram, which now join Facebook and Twitter in being banned.

"The Iranian government must promptly launch an effective and independent investigation into the killings and other reports of excessive or unnecessary force, and bring all those responsible for human rights violations to justice", he added.


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