Moscow Rejects Sanctions Against Tehran, Warns US of Meddling in Its Affairs

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Commenting on the latest developments in Iran, Ryabkov noted: "Despite numerous attempts to distort the essence of what is going on, I am certain that our neighbor, the country that is friendly to us, will be able to overcome the current difficulties and emerge from the current period as a stronger nation and a reliable partner in solving various problems, including those related to further implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)".

"Human rights are not the gift of governments, they are the inalienable rights of the people themselves", Haley said.

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

Shortly before the meeting, United Nations human rights experts urged Iran to respect the rights of demonstrators and restore access to social media accounts that have been blocked. When the rights of the people are denied, the people rightly resist.

Haley said that "in the end, the Iranian people will determine their own destiny", and she reiterated USA support for the protesters. And Iran's United Nations envoy, Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo, complained in a letter to the Security Council president Wednesday that Trump's "absurd tweets" had "incited Iranians to engage in disruptive acts".

The US administration has also imposed unilateral sanctions on five Iranian companies linked to Tehran's ballistic missile program. Iran has also seen three days of large pro-government demonstrations.

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For its part, Iran has accused the U.S. of "grotesque" meddling in social media to incite unrest - and thus tampering with Iranian affairs, according to a letter sent to the United Nations on Thursday.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said this week that Washington was seeking emergency sessions on Iran at the United Nations in NY and at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Russian Federation scoffed at the idea.

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).

Russia's deputy foreign minister has called the United States proposal "harmful and destructive". "And we know the truth", she said.

US President Donald Trump and a number of other US officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, have sided with the protesters. Nothing will stop Americans from standing in solidarity with them. Trump expressed "such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government" and pledged "great support from the United States".

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