Iran's Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo slammed the meeting as a "farce" and a "waste of time" and said the council should instead focus on addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the war in Yemen. One of the largest demonstrations was at Tehran's Imam Khomeini Musalla Mosque, where thousands of protesters blasted the USA and chanted anti-U.S. slogans.
"The Iranian regime is finally on notice: The world will be watching what you do", she said.
France's ambassador to the UN said the protests do not threaten worldwide peace and security, in what may be an implicit criticism of the United States.
The US administration has also imposed unilateral sanctions on five Iranian companies linked to Tehran's ballistic missile program.
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Iran's United Nations envoy, who was sitting in on the session despite not being a council member, agreed, calling Friday's session an "abuse of its [the U.S.'s] power as a permanent member, and an abuse of the council itself".
In contrast to the US response to the Iran protests in 2009, where the Obama administration took a relatively hands-off approach, President Trump has promised "great support" for the demonstrators, while the State Department has hinted at sanctions for officials who abuse protesters and said that it will use Facebook and Twitter to communicate directly with activists.
"And people in Iran and throughout should be able to access those sites". Some demonstrators openly chanted anti-government slogans at both the hard line clerics who run the country and at President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who promised more political freedoms and economic improvements following sanctions relief after the 2015 nuclear deal.
Pro-regime rallies were held around Tehran on Friday for the third day running with authorities seeking to put a lid on the violence. Trump expressed "such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government" and pledged "great support from the United States".
"The President and I call on leaders of freedom-loving nations across the world to condemn Iran's unelected dictators and defend the Iranian people's unalienable right to chart their own future and determine their own destiny".
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He criticized European nations and the United Nations for failing to "forcefully speak out" on Iran.
"Iran's domestic affairs have nothing to do with the United Nations Security Council's role". It has said those restrictions will be lifted on Friday, and there were signs Thursday that it had begun easing some of them.
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov went so far as to say the United States was leveraging the protests to undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
"It is unfortunate that despite the resistance on the part of some of its members, this council has allowed itself to be abused by the current USA administration in holding a meeting on an issue that falls outside the scope of its mandate", Khoshroo said.
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