Iran Accuses the US of Protests Interference

Iranian students clash with riot police during an anti-government protest around the University of Tehran, Iran, 30 December 2017. (Photo by STR/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Iran has accused the US of inciting anti-government protests that started last week and said that Washington has broken the principles of the UN charter by supporting the unrest. In a letter sent to UN secretary-general  Antonio Guterres, the Iranian ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo said the US had “crossed every limit” by inciting Iranians to engage in the demonstrations.

He said the administration of President Donald Trump, in “numerous absurd tweets, had incited Iranians to engage in disruptive acts” which violated international law.

Iran: Grotesque intervention

“The US has stepped up its acts of intervention in a grotesque way in Iran’s internal affairs under the pretext of providing support for sporadic protests, which in several instances were hijacked by infiltrators,” Iranian media quoted Khoshroo.

“The current US administration has crossed every limit in flouting rules and principles of international law governing the civilized conduct of international relations,” Khoshroo adds in the letter to Guterres. He proposed that the letter is circulated as the document by the UN Security Council.

Trump’s harsh statements targeting Tehran were previously criticized by Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, who suggested that the US leader should “address his country’s domestic affairs instead of wasting his time on posting useless and insulting tweets about others.”

On Tuesday, US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley branded as “complete nonsense” Iran’s suggestion that external enemies were fomenting the unrest.

“The people of Iran are crying out for freedom. All freedom-loving people must stand with their cause,” she said

Macron: No new axis of evil

On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that hostile statements on the ongoing protests in Iran by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia could lead to a war. He also urged all parties to maintain balance in relations with the Islamic Republic, while seeking ways to “increase international pressure” on it. France, he claims, wanted to maintain some balance.

“Otherwise, we end up surreptitiously rebuilding an ‘axis of evil’,” he said, referring to a comment by former U.S. President George W. Bush, who once used that term to describe countries including Iran, Iraq and North Korea, according to Reuters.

The Russian foreign ministry echoed the concerns, urging the US not to interfere in Iran’s “domestic issues”, Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency reports. Moscow’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that Washington had used the situation to hamper the nuclear agreement with Tehran.

At least 21 people have died and more than 450 arrested since anti-government demonstrations erupted across Iran during the last week in December. The protests, which have focused on economic and political grievances, have been the largest display of public dissent since pro-reform rallies swept the country in 2009.

They seem to be dying down despite unverified reports of small protests in a number of cities after nightfall on Wednesday, BBC writes. Internet messaging services Telegram and Instagram remained blocked, as they have been since the protests began.

However, there were calls in parliament to remove some of the most unpopular measures from last month’s budget, including welfare budget cuts and energy price rises, AFP news agency reports.

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