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Can Iran's Regime Survive 2018?

13 January 2018

Haley's comments come at a United Nations Security Council meeting that centered on Iran after the USA requested an emergency session amid protests in the country.

Iranian Ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo asserted that the administration of US President Donald Trump - in the form of its current and widely-criticized ambassador Nikki Haley - was abusing its position as a permanent UNSC member in demanding the emergency meeting.

Durting the meeting, three members France, Russia and China of the permanent five, joined Iran in asserting that this 15-membered body was not an appropriate forum to discuss the current situation in Iran as it does not pose any threat to global peace and security.

The United States received harsh criticism at a United Nations Security Council meeting it called for in the first place.

The U.S. on Friday sought to highlight the importance for the Security Council of ongoing demonstrations in Iran, prompting criticism from some member states who questioned the topic's validity within the institution tasked with maintaining worldwide peace and security.

"Every UN member state is sovereign, but member states can not use sovereignty as a shield when they categorically deny people human rights and fundamental freedoms", she added.

France's ambassador said the protests do not threaten worldwide peace and security, in what may be an implicit criticism of the U.S. "As the Iranian people suffer, their government and the IRGC fund foreign militants, terrorist groups, and human rights abuses".

The U.N. charter empowers to the council to "investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to global friction", and the US wasn't alone in thinking the Iranian protests qualified.

France's ambassador to the United Nations told the Security Council the protests in Iran did not require a meeting before the worldwide body.

Official reports said that more than 22 people were killed in the unrest which begun in Iran last week.

The protests, the most powerful challenge to the regime in years, appeared to have fizzled Thursday, after a claim by Revolutionary Guards commander Mohammad Ali Jafari that the unrest was officially over.

Protests erupted on December 28 in the holy Shiite city of Mashhad after the government announced plans to raise fuel prices and cut monthly cash handouts to lower-income Iranians.

A hard-line Iranian cleric has called on Iran to create its own indigenous social media apps, blaming them for the unrest that followed days of protest in the Islamic Republic over its economy.

Some 4,000 people - including former lawmakers, journalists, students and foreign nationals - were arrested in connection with those protests.

But on Friday, there was evidence of a mini-revolt at the Security Council, not only among traditional U.S. adversaries such as Russian Federation and China, but also among its close allies like France and Sweden. "We will not be quiet", she added.

In a telephone interview from Tehran, Iranian human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh told Asharq Al-Awsat: "Starting 3 pm till late at night, the main streets of Tehran witnessed fueled moments". After the removal of severe sanctions placed upon them due to the nations nuclear program, Iranians expected their way of life to greatly improve.

The president has said that "oppressive regimes can not endure forever", and our administration will continue to support the protesters in their calls for freedom and demand that Iran's leaders cease their risky and destabilizing actions at home and overseas.

"The Iranian dictatorship is trying to do what it always does, which is to say that the protests were designed by enemies". State television showed rallies in cities including Amol, Semnan and Shadegan waving Iranian flags and chanting "Death to America", "Death to Israel" and "Death to Britain". Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people have attended pro-government rallies in recent days.

Can Iran's Regime Survive 2018?