Russia blames U.S. of 'interfering' in Iran over demos
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Friday that "The United States continues to interfere both openly and covertly in the internal affairs of other countries. They do so shamelessly."
Russia accused the United States on Friday of interfering in Iranian affairs as the UN Security Council prepared to hold a meeting at Washington's request on deadly protests in Iran.
"The United States continues to interfere both openly and covertly in the internal affairs of other countries. They do so shamelessly," Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.
"This is how we view the American initiative to convene the UN Security Council over a situation that is of purely national concern in Iran."
The council was due to hold a session at 2000 GMT Friday at Washington's request to discuss the wave of Iranian protests.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley warned ahead of the meeting that the demonstrations could escalate into full-blown conflict, drawing a comparison with Syria.
Ryabkov accused Washington of "directly attacking the sovereignty of other states under the pretext of being concerned about democracy and human rights."
A total of 21 people have died and hundreds have been arrested since December 28 as protests over economic woes turned against the Iranian regime as a whole, with attacks on government buildings and police stations.
In response, big pro-regime rallies have broken out. They were rumbling on for a third day on Friday.
US President Donald Trump has pledged to help Iranians "take back" their government.
His administration has also cast doubt on the landmark 2015 deal on Iran's nuclear activities.
"If the United States are seeking reasons which have nothing to do with this accord in order to raise pressure on Iran, which is what they seem to be doing, then that is an unacceptable method and unworthy of a great power," Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Russian news agency RIA Novosti.