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News > World

Iran: Pro-Gov't Rallies Ahead of UNSC Meeting Requested by US

  • People take part in pro-government rallies, Iran, Jan. 3, 2018.

    People take part in pro-government rallies, Iran, Jan. 3, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 January 2018
Opinion

Marchers slammed last week’s “foreign-backed” protests as Russia called the U.N. meeting on the Iran unrest “destructive”.

Pro-government rallies took place in Iran Friday as officials called on people to take to the streets after the Muslim Friday prayers, less than a week after the country was rocked with opposition-led protests that turned violent and claimed the lives of more than 20 people.

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The Iranian government of Hassan Rouhani is capitalizing on large pro-government rallies over the past few days, which came as a response to the violent protests earlier, which began as peaceful demonstrations  against corruption and poverty.

Rallies Friday took place in multiple cities such as Tehran, Tabriz and Sari and Kerman, according to local media, where people carried posters condemning what they called “foreign-backed” violent protests.

Meanwhile a U.N. Security Council extraordinary meeting is expected to take place later Friday at the request of the United States to discuss the situation in Iran, according to the Kazakh delegation to the United Nations which is the Security Council president through January.

In response Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov slammed the U.S. over requesting the meeting saying Russia considers it “harmful and destructive.”

Turkey had also criticized “external actors” for meddling into Iran’s internal affairs, without naming the U.S.. France has also said that U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel should refrain from “hostile” comments on the protests in Iran which could lead to "war". Other European leaders have also avoided inflammatory comments, instead stressing the importance of stability in oil-rich Iran.

Meanwhile Washington also imposed sanctions against five Iranian firms alleged to have been working on an illegal ballistic missile program, linking the move to the protests.

"These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran's ballistic missile program, which the Iranian regime prioritizes over the economic well-being of the Iranian people," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday.

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On the streets of Tehran, a heavy police presence lingered though there were no reports of fresh protests overnight. At least 21 people were killed in six days of protests which started as peaceful demonstrations but later turned into attacks on private and public properties as well as government buildings and police stations.

The U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel have been some of the few countries to aggressively support the anti-government protests in Iran. Some have called their attitude hypercritical as those countries carry out many human rights violations both domestically and abroad. The U.S. has been criticized over the last few years for cracking down on anti-police brutality protests by Black people and other minorities.

Over the past few weeks Israel has been carrying out a major crackdown on new protests in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza territories as people protest the U.S. unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as well as the decades-long illegal Israeli occupation. Israel has also been accused of apartheid against the Palestinians.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia is one of the most oppressive regimes in the world that has no tolerance for any political opposition or street actions, while also exporting violence and destruction to countries in the region, most notably the Middle East’s most improvised nation Yemen.

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