protests were being directed from overseas, also saying that the USA had abused its position as a permanent council member by forcing the session.

It also pointed to a U.S. State Department official's Tuesday statement that the United States was communicating with anti-government protesters through its Facebook and Twitter pages in Farsi, and was encouraging them to demonstrate.

"The Iranian regime is finally on notice: The world will be watching what you do", she said.

"We want to encourage the protesters to continue to fight for what's right and to open up Iran", Goldstein said.

"Despite the many attempts to distort what is really going on (in Iran), I am sure that our neighbor, our friend, will overcome its current difficulties", Ryabkov said.


ReutersThe US has faced criticism for bringing the protests in Iran to the floor of the UN.

In contrast to the USA response to the Iran protests in 2009, where the Obama administration took a relatively hands-off approach, President Trump has promised "great support" for the demonstrators, while the State Department has hinted at sanctions for officials who abuse protesters and said that it will use Facebook and Twitter to communicate directly with activists. "They are attempting to silence the voice of the Iranian people".

"And people in Iran and throughout should be able to access those sites".

Ben Evansky reports for Fox News on the United Nations and global affairs. But tens of thousands have also reportedly taken part in pro-government rallies in recent days.

There is no evidence that Washington had any direct role in orchestrating the anti-government protests, beyond the encouragement through social media and published remarks.

He criticized European nations and the United Nations for failing to "forcefully speak out" on Iran. When the rights of the people are denied, the people rightly resist.


In a Thursday tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif hit back at the White House for what he cast as duplicitous comments.

United States 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.

Trump's administration has denied having any hand in the demonstrations, saying they arose completely spontaneously.

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov went so far as to say the United States was leveraging the protests to undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

But Russia accuses the United States of interfering in Iran's national affairs and called for closed-door talks just before the council's meeting, scheduled for 3:00 pm (2000 GMT).

"We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked", Haley said in a. Haley said the USA had negotiated a $285 million reduction of the United Nations budget for 2018-2019 compared to the budget for 2016-2017.


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