US Gauging Support for Anti-Iran Trumpeting

US Gauging Support for Anti-Iran TrumpetingUS Gauging Support for Anti-Iran Trumpeting

The US envoy to the United Nations seeks to focus world attention on Iran's actions in the Middle East in an early test of whether US President Donald Trump's toughening position on the Islamic Republic is backed by its allies, or leaving the US isolated internationally.

Nikki Haley was to use a Wednesday UN Security Council meeting on "the situation in the Middle East" to once again take on Tehran's ballistic missile program and its support for the Hezbollah resistance movement and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, while the majority of other participants will try to keep the focus on Israeli-Palestinian issues, especially settlements in the occupied West Bank, Bloomberg reported.

The meeting was the first public effort to gauge international support for the US position on Iran after Trump declined to certify a 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, on Oct. 13.

Trump, making a certification required under US law every 90 days, said the agreement with Iran and five other nations was not serving US national security interests. He threatened to terminate the accord unless parties to the deal address what he claims are its key shortcomings.

Despite Trump's criticisms, US allies have said they continue to back the agreement, pointing to International Atomic Energy Agency assessments that Iran has met the terms spelled out in the accord. The agreement, negotiated during the Obama administration, was intended to ease economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.

"Europe's position has not changed since Trump's speech," said Olof Skoog, Sweden's ambassador to the UN.

Skoog said the Middle East debate should focus on the peace process and not the nuclear deal.

"The nuclear agreement is underpinned by UN Security Council resolutions. It's clear where we stand," Skoog said. "The EU is determined to preserve the JCPOA as a key pillar of the international nonproliferation architecture."


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