As Iran Protests Dwindle, US Calls Emergency UN Talks

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Iran protests Why people have taken to the streets

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Iran protests Why people have taken to the streets

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

"It needs to be crystal clear to the worldwide community that the situation in Iran does not belong on the agenda of the Security Council", said Mr Sacha Sergio Llorenty, the Bolivian ambassador.

Efforts by the Trump administration to marshal a muscular global response to Iran's crackdown on anti-government protesters appeared to backfire on Friday (Jan 5) as members of the UN Security Council instead used a special session called by the United States to lecture the U.S. ambassador on the proper objective of the body and to reaffirm support for the Iran nuclear agreement.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) says antigovernment protests that it blames on foreign instigators have been "defeated". Reporting in Tehran, Al Jazeera's Zein Basravi said the subsequent pro-government rallies were meant to show Iran's rivals - both inside and outside the country - that there is considerable support for its political establishment.

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Russia's Vassily Nebenzia, meanwhile, said that the U.S. was "abusing the platform of the Security Council" by calling the emergency meeting. It was unclear Friday morning whether Haley has that level of support.

In order for the Council meeting that Haley wants to take place, she would need a minimum of nine votes from Council members.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom came under fire this week after she spoke with the national media about Sweden's "great concern and dismay" about the events in Iran, but expressed skepticism about the need for a meeting at the United Nations. "The Iranian regime is now on notice: the world will be watching what you do". "They do so shamelessly", Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

"The Iranian people are rising up in over 79 locations throughout the country", Haley told the council.

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The White House, meanwhile, continues to tighten the economic screws on Iran.

Iran is also weighing in to U.N. Security Council members.

Iranian officials have blamed a plot by the CIA, Israel and Saudi Arabia for the unrest that convulsed much of the country for five days - part of the increasing tensions playing out between Iran and its neighbors since U.S. President Donald Trump came to power.

Given the Russian opposition to a Security Council meeting on Iran, some diplomats and experts believe the meeting proposal itself could be a win-win for the U.S.

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His administration has also cast doubt on the landmark 2015 deal on Iran's nuclear activities.

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