U.S. Envoy Calls for Emergency U.N. Session on Iran Protests

American Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, at United Nations headquarters. Haley said the U.S. is calling for U.N. Security Council and Human Rights Council emergency sessions on Iran. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
AP/Mary Altaffer

(AFP) — UNITED NATIONS — The US Ambassador to the United Nations called on the international community to speak out on the unfolding protests in Iran, saying the US would seek emergency UN talks on the situation.

“The people of Iran are crying out for freedom,” Nikki Haley said at a news conference. “All freedom-loving people must stand with their cause.”

She said the United States would be seeking emergency sessions of the UN Security Council and the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Commission in the coming days.

Haley rejected as “complete nonsense” charges by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that the five-day-old protests were being fomented by the country’s “enemies.”

“The freedoms that are enshrined in the United Nations charter are under attack in Iran. Dozens have already been killed. Hundreds have been arrested,” she said.

“If the Iranian dictatorship’s history is any guide, we can expect more outrageous abuses in the days to come,” she said.

Tehran said 21 people had died in clashes across the country as thousands of people took to the streets. Police have arrested hundreds of demonstrators.

Khamenei had blamed the country’s “enemies” earlier Tuesday for almost six days of deadly unrest that have shaken the conservative country.

“The enemies have united and are using all their means, money, weapons, policies and security services to create problems for the Islamic regime,” Khamenei said.

A fifth night of unrest Monday to Tuesday saw six protesters killed during an attack on a police station in Qahderijan in the central province of Isfahan, state TV said, bringing the death toll to 21.

.