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US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the US will “never accept a nuclear North Korea.” Haley also said the US will call an emergency session of the Security Council to address the ongoing unrest in Iran. (Jan. 2)
AP

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting about Iran Friday as Washington seeks to show support for anti-government protests in the Islamic Republic that have led to the deaths of at least 21 people. 

The U.N. session, requested by the U.S., it set for Friday afternoon.

It’s not clear what outcome the meeting will yield. Members are divided in their views of the protests and could call a vote on whether to address the topic. It also comes as organizers in Iran planned a third day of pro-government rallies after Friday prayers. 

Thousands of Iranians part in pro-government rallies Wednesday and Thursday.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., has praised the demonstrators, saying “the U.N. must speak out” on their behalf. But Moscow has warned against “external interference” in what it sees as an Iran’s internal affairs.

And Iranian authorities have described the protests as waning. Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said Thursday that about 42,000 people at most took part in the week of protests. He said they went on as long as they did because of the “leniency, restrain, tolerance and interaction” of the government.

Still, in addition to the deaths, hundreds of people have been arrested and Iranian authorities previously said some of those detained could face the death penalty. 

The protests began last week over rising food prices and Iran’s flagging economy before spreading to cities across nearly all of Iran’s provinces.

The demonstrations have since widened to become a general expression of anger over alleged government corruption and discontent with Iran’s clerical rulers.

Late Thursday, activists posted new videos purporting to show protesters challenging Iran’s government, including chants against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

More: Everything you need to know about the Iran protests

More: Iran blocks messaging app Telegram used by protesters

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Supreme leader blames Iran’s ‘enemies’ for unrest
Video provided by AFP
Newslook

Contributing: Associated Press

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