January 2, 2018 / 7:10 PM / 17 days ago

U.S. envoy Haley praises Iranian demonstrators, says protests spontaneous

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Tuesday praised the courage of Iranian demonstrators and said protests across the country were spontaneous, not driven by outside forces.

After she read out social media posts written by Iranians in support of the protests, Haley dismissed Iranian leaders’ contention that the protests were designed by Iran’s enemies.

“We all know that’s complete nonsense,” she said. “The demonstrations are completely spontaneous. They are virtually in every city in Iran. This is the precise picture of a long oppressed people’s rising up against their dictators.”

Haley said the United States was seeking emergency sessions on Iran at the United Nations in New York and at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“We must not be silent,” she said. “The people of Iran are crying out for freedom.”

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and James Dalgleish

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