Nikki Haley on Iran: ‘Long-Oppressed People Are Rising Up Against Their Dictators’

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during a brief press availability at United Nations headquarters, January 2, 2018 in New York City. She discussed protests in Iran and the North Korea nuclear threat. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley made a statement on the uprising in Iran on Tuesday, giving strong support to the “brave people of Iran” and dismissing as “complete nonsense” the Iranian regime’s excuses for a crackdown.

“Nowhere is the urgency of peace, security, and freedom being more tested than in Iran,” Haley declared:

“By the thousands, Iranian citizens are taking to the streets to protest the oppression of their own government,” she said, adding:

It takes great bravery for the Iranian people to use the power of their voice against their government, especially when their government has a long history of murdering its own people who dare to speak the truth. So we applaud the tremendous courage of the Iranian people.

“The government of Iran is actively attempting to stop social media and other forms of communication that allow their citizens’ voices to be heard,” Haley said.

“So we want to help amplify the voices of the Iranian people,” she went on:

Here are the messages that they’re chanting today: “All these brigades have come out to the streets. They’ve come out against the leader. Political prisoners must be freed. Independence, freedom, Iranian republic. Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, my life only for Iran. Let go of Syria; think of us. We will die, but we’ll take Iran back. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid. We’re all together.”

“And in reference to the Supreme Leader, quote: ‘Feel some shame. Let go of the country,’” she added.

“Those are not my words,” Haley stressed. “Those are not the words of the United States. Those are the words of the brave people of Iran.”

“Now the Iranian dictatorship is trying to do what it always does, which is to say that the protests were designed by Iran’s enemies. We all know that’s complete nonsense,” she scoffed. “The demonstrations are completely spontaneous. They are virtually in every city in Iran. This is the precise picture of a long-oppressed people rising up against their dictators.”

“The international community has a role to play on this,” Haley urged. “The freedoms that are enshrined in the United Nations charter are under attack in Iran. Dozens have already been killed. Hundreds have been arrested.”

“If the Iranian dictatorship’s history is any guide, we can expect more outrageous abuses in the days to come,” she warned. “The U.N. must speak out. In the days ahead, we will be calling for an emergency session, both here in New York and at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. We must not be silent. The people of Iran are crying out for freedom. All freedom-loving people must stand with their cause.”

“The international community failed to do that in 2009,” she added, referring to Iran’s Green Revolution. “We must not make that mistake again.”

In response to a reporter’s question about how she wanted the United Nations to handle Iran, Haley said the United States would soon have a conversation with the Security Council and possibly call an emergency session.

“One way or the other, we will have a meeting on what is happening in Iran with the protests and their fight for freedom,” she vowed.


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