Understanding the protests in Iran means digging much deeper than Trump's tweets

The protests spread quickly feeding on widespread anger

The protests spread quickly feeding on widespread angerAY-COLLECTION SIPA REX SHUTTERSHOCK

Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the United States move to call the meeting was a "bogus pretext" to include "purely political issues" surrounding Iran on the Security Council agenda.

The US ambassador Nikki Haley said the global community could not let Iran silence protesters' messages about the country's economic woes by blocking some social media platforms.

The United States had pushed for the UN meeting on Friday to discuss the five days of protests that hit Iran last week, leading to the deaths of 21 people and hundreds of arrests.

The US Ambassador Nikki Haley told Tehran "the world will be watching", reiterating the US president's support for the anti-government demonstrators.

Iran's foreign minister said the move to an emergency meeting on protests marks another foreign policy "blunder" for Donald Trump's administration after the country's United Nations ambassador described the move as an example of "US bullying". "As the Iranian people suffer, their government and the IRGC fund foreign militants, terrorist groups, and human rights abuses".

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif ridiculed US President Donald Trump on Saturday over what he called the foreign policy "blunder" of trying to raise its recent protests at the UN Security Council.

Bolivian ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorenty said: "It needs to be crystal clear to the worldwide community that the situation in Iran does not belong on the agenda of the Security Council".

Tehran's Friday prayer leader called on authorities to deal "firmly" with those responsible for igniting over a week of demonstrations, in which 22 people have died and more than 1,000 have been arrested, according to Iranian officials.

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Haley praised the anti-government protesters as fearless and said "the United Nations must speak out" to support them.

Science Minister Mansour Gholami said that about a quarter of the students arrested have since been released, though he failed to give any exact numbers.

Countries such as China also criticised the move, with the French ambassador saying the protests did not pose a global security risk in an apparent rebuke to the US. "We will not be quiet", she added.

"The real reason for convening today's meaning is not an attempt to protect human rights or promote the interests of the Iranian people, but rather a veiled attempt to seize the current moment to continue to undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)". After the removal of severe sanctions placed upon them due to the nations nuclear program, Iranians expected their way of life to greatly improve. "We must be wary of any attempts to exploit this crisis for personal ends, which would have the diametrically opposed outcome to that which is wished".

In the following days, however, the protests appeared to turn into anti-government rallies, spreading to Tehran, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Zanjan, Ahvaz and Arak provinces.

Not all council members see a need to weigh in.

More broadly, the president declined to certify the previous administration's nuclear deal with Iran, which flooded the regime's coffers with tens of billions of dollars in cash - money that it could use to repress its own people and support terrorism across the wider world.

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