U.S. faces criticism at UNSC for exploiting situation in Iran

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The signatories of the statement also maintain that focus on external interference, "in addition to being an insult to the people, leads to negligence toward the real causes of the protests" and an effective response to them.

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7:25 a.m. - A group of United Nations human rights experts is voicing concern over the deaths of more than 20 people in unrest surrounding protests in Iran and says it is "very disturbed" by the way authorities have responded to the demonstrations.

U.S. called for a UN Security Council meeting on Iran's recent protests against economic problems, which was held on Friday without any conclusion.

Hamid Shahriari, the deputy head of the Judiciary said that all ringleaders of the protests had been identified and arrested, and they would be firmly punished and might face capital punishment. "Because in the end, the Iranian people will determine their own destiny", she said. He said that when the country blocked social media "the riots stopped".

United States President Donald Trump has come out in support of the protestors. He also said he believed anyone who burned Iran's flag should be sentenced to death. Reporting in Tehran, Al Jazeera's Zein Basravi said the subsequent pro-government rallies were meant to show Iran's rivals - both inside and outside the country - that there is considerable support for its political establishment. It marked the third day of such demonstrations.

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But the trend picked up steam as the night unfolded, particularly after Winfrey's impassioned acceptance speech for the Cecil B. She told E!: "I think people are aware now of a power imbalance and that is something that leads to abuse".

Activists described the protest videos as showing demonstrations in Tehran on Thursday night, including chants against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iranian pro-government demonstrators set a makeshift USA flag on fire during a march after the weekly Muslim Friday prayers in Tehran on January 5, 2018.

Russia's Vassily Nebenzia, meanwhile, said that the U.S. was "abusing the platform of the Security Council" by calling the emergency meeting.

Meanwhile, Iran's chief prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri has accused CIA, Israel, Saudi for fueling violent anti-government protests that have swept through Iran and left as much 22 people dead and left many others injured.

Following repeated claims by multiple Islamic Republic authorities that recent protests have been organized or instigated by foreigners; sixteen prominent reformist figures in Iran have issued a statement rejecting the claim.

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