Russia slammed the U.S. for calling an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting Friday to discuss anti-government protests in Iran, calling the move an “abuse” of the international body to meddle in Iran’s “internal affairs.”
Russia has mocked American attempts to line up world support for the past week’s anti-government demonstrations in Iran, even sarcastically suggesting that the U.S. let the police department of Ferguson, Missouri teach Iranians how to really put down civil unrest — a reference it returned to during U.N. meetings Friday.
“By your logic, we should have initiated a Security Council meeting after the well-known events in Ferguson,” said Russian UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya, addressing the U.S. delegation.
Earlier on Friday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov poured scorn over America’s move to call the emergency meeting on Iran, blasting the idea as “harmful and destructive.”
Russia then scheduled a dueling, closed-door meeting to “discuss the American initiative,” just 30 minutes prior to America’s proposed session.
“We don’t see a role for the United Nations Security Council in this matter,” Ryabkov said, according to Russian state-run news agency RIA. “Iran’s internal affairs have nothing to do with the United Nations Security Council’s role.”
"Let Iran solve its own problems,” said Nebenzya.
China, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, seemingly agreed, saying the protests were Iran's “domestic issue.”
As protests in Iran stretched into their second week, Iranian security appeared to have largely quashed the anti-government forces with an aggressive response that included reportedly arresting at least 1,000 people and blocking social media outlets like Instagram and Telegram.
On Friday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. opened the emergency session by speaking out in support of the protesters, saying the demonstrators are asking for “their human rights.”
Iran didn’t take too kindly to the U.S. show of force at the U.N. however, saying: "There is a long history of U.S. bullying at the UN, but this is a preposterous example."
Iran has responded to the protests through a mixture of brute force and denial. By Thursday reports emerged of massive pro-government protests on Iranian state television as Iran’s leaders sought to counter the opposition and cast blame on the U.S. for allegedly instigating the protests, a charge American officials have denied.