Iran's government says they have halted protests by blocking Internet


"Tomorrow the U.N. Security Council will discuss the troubling and unsafe situation in Iran", Haley said in a statement issued Thursday evening, adding that it was "a matter of fundamental human rights for the Iranian people, but it is also a matter of worldwide peace and security".

Britain and France reiterated that Iran must respect the rights of protesters, but French Ambassador Francois Delattre said the "events of the past days do not constitute a threat to peace and worldwide security".

And Iranian Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo - whose country isn't a Security Council member but was invited to participate Friday - said the protests had gotten "direct encouragement by foreign forces, including by the president of the United States".

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley used the impromptu session to chastise Iran for its response to recent anti-government protests.

"The Iranian regime's contempt for the rights of its people has been widely documented for many years", said Haley, adding that the United States stood "unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves, prosperity for their families, and dignity for their nation".

People protest in Los Angeles, California, U.S., in support of anti-government protesters in Iran, January 3, 2018.

"It would be a misrepresentation (of events) and also an insult to Iranian people to say they only had economic demands", Rouhani was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

Iran's United Nations envoy, who was sitting in on the session despite not being a council member, agreed, calling Friday's session an "abuse of its [the U.S.'s] power as a permanent member, and an abuse of the council itself".

France's ambassador to the United Nations Francois Delattre said that the protests were not an worldwide matter.

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At least 21 people have been killed and hundreds arrested amid the anti-government protests and unrest over the country's economic woes. More than 700 people have been detained.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people took part in counter-demonstrations Wednesday backing the clerically overseen government, which has accused the USA of instigating the protests.

But will the new US leader do anything to support the protesters? While those sanctions were unrelated to the ongoing protests, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said more sanctions "targeting human rights abuses are coming".

"We don't want to get involved in destabilizing Iran or any other country", he said.

"We will not be quiet". The Iranian government has been accused of funding several militia around the world to prove their military existence in the region instead of using this money to help the Iranian people.

One of the protesters in Berlin, 18-year-old Pariya Kohandel Saleh, said her father was in jail in Iran for supporting the families of prisoners.

Iran signed a nuclear deal with the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China in 2015, easing sanctions in exchange for curbs to the country's nuclear programme.

Khatami was speaking before pro-government demonstrations followed Friday prayers in Tehran and several other cities, including Tabriz and Kerman. At that point, the elements outside of Iran including instigators based in the United States and Europe began to visible.