Iran’s foreign minister said a US move to call an emergency UN Security Council meeting on protests in country marks another foreign policy “blunder” for the Trump administration.
Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter that the Security Council had “rebuffed the US’s naked attempt to hijack its mandate”.
He said the majority emphasised the need to fully implement the nuclear deal and to refrain from interfering in the affairs of other countries, writing: “Another FP (foreign policy) blunder for the Trump administration.”
US president Donald Trump has voiced encouragement for anti-government demonstrations which broke out in Iran.
The US called the UN meeting on Friday, portraying the protests that began last week as a human rights issue that could spill over into an international problem.
US ambassador Nikki Haley said the emergency meeting showed Tehran “the world will be watching” its actions, the US ambassador has said.
The US called the meeting after giving moral support to the anti-government protesters in a week of demonstrations and counter-demonstrations.
US president Donald Trump and members of his administration have praised the anti-government demonstrators as people standing up to a repressive and corrupt regime that is trying to silence them.
But Russia and some other countries said the UN’s most powerful body had no business weighing in on the demonstrations.
“The world should applaud their courage” and amplify their message, said Ms Haley, portraying the protests as a human rights issue that could spill over into an international problem.
“The Iranian regime is now on notice: The world will be watching what you do.”
But Russia and Iran complained the US was dragging a council focused on international security into what they called a domestic matter.
“The United States is abusing the platform of the Security Council,” said Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, whose country has close ties to Iran, adding: “Let Iran deal with its own problems.”
Envoys from several other countries, from China to newcomer Equatorial Guinea, expressed reservations about whether the council was the right forum for the issue.
The UN charter empowers to the council to “investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction,” and the US was not alone in thinking the Iranian protests qualified.
“It is right and proper – indeed, our responsibility … to assess whether a situation like this could become a threat to international peace and security,” British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said before the meeting.
At least 21 people have been killed and hundreds arrested amid the anti-government protests and unrest over the country’s economic woes.
Up to 42,000 people took part in the protests, according to Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, who has said the clerically overseen government exhibited “tolerance” toward the demonstrations.