Trump’s Iran Bashing in Security Council Fails

It is unfortunate that the UN Security Council has allowed itself to be abused by the US administration in holding a meeting on an issue that falls outside the scope of its mandate
The UN Security Council held a meeting on the situation in Iran on Jan. 5. The UN Security Council held a meeting on the situation in Iran on Jan. 5.

Iran's foreign minister dismissed as a foreign policy "blunder" a US attempt to rally international support for its hostile stance on Tehran by calling for an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting on recent anti-government protests in Iran.

"The UNSC rebuffed the US naked attempt to hijack its mandate. Majority emphasized the need to fully implement the JCPOA and to refrain from interfering in internal affairs of others. Another FP [foreign policy] blunder for the Trump administration," Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a twitter message while the meeting was still ongoing on Friday.

JCPOA is an abbreviation of the official name of the 2015 nuclear accord, namely the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which the former administration of the United States and those of the other five major powers negotiated with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for giving it relief from international sanctions.

The action plan enjoys widespread international support but faces harsh criticism from the incumbent US president, Donald Trump.

In her address to the meeting, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley warned Iran that it is "now on notice", repeating her side's accusations of human rights violations against the Islamic Republic.

"Human rights are not the gift of governments, they are the inalienable rights of the people themselves," Haley said. "The Iranian [government] is now on notice, the world will be watching what you do."

"Freedom and human dignity cannot be separated from peace and security. When the rights of the people are denied, the people rightly resist. If the concerns are not acknowledged, then peace and security are inevitably threatened."

Haley said that "in the end, the Iranian people will determine their own destiny," and she reiterated US support for the protestors, CNN reported.

"And let there be no doubt whatsoever, the United States stands unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves, prosperity for their families and dignity for their nation," she added.

  Differences Emerge    

Some nations in the meeting voiced concern that the UN Security Council was not the appropriate venue to discuss protests in Iran.

Differences in opinion between the US and Europe over how to address the situation in Iran had begun to manifest themselves ahead of Friday's meeting.

"It is up to the Iranians, and to the Iranians alone, to pursue the path of peaceful dialogue, a dialogue based on full respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Iranian people," French Ambassador Francois Delattre told the council.

"However worrying the events of the last few days in Iran may be, they do not constitute, per se, a threat to international peace and security."

Prior to the meeting, Delattre warned against the "instrumentalization of the crisis from the outside because it would only reinforce the extremes, which is precisely what we want to avoid."

Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia also slammed the US for using the meeting to bring up the Iranian protests under a "bogus pretext."

"Let Iran deal with its own problems," said Nebenzia, who once again raised the idea of the Security Council meeting about protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and Occupy Wall Street demonstrations as the Russian mission to the UN did in a tweet on Tuesday. Iranian Ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo responded forcefully at Friday's meeting.

  Dereliction of Duty    

"The move by the United States to bring to this council protests in Iran by some of our citizens for their legitimate grievances—some exacerbated by none other than the US itself in its dereliction of its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—is an abuse of its power as a permanent member, and an abuse of the council itself," Khoshroo said in his statement.

"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 US administration in holding a meeting on an issue that falls outside the scope of its mandate, putting on display the failure of the council to fulfill its real responsibility in maintaining international peace and security," he said.

Trump has been trying to push his policy of regime change against the Islamic Republic by dramatizing the situation in Iran during the demonstrations over economic hardships and rampant corruption.

For its part, Iran has accused the US of "grotesque" meddling in social media to incite unrest—and thus tampering with Iranian affairs, according to a letter sent to the UN on Thursday.

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