Haley Would Fail to Dictate Anti-Iran UN Action
Sunday, February 18, 2018

Haley Would Fail to Dictate Anti-Iran UN Action

A lawmaker said Washington's attempt to rally the support of fellow UN Security Council members to restore the world body's sanctions on Iran is doomed. 
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has renewed a call for action to hold the Islamic Republic accountable for the alleged violation of an arms embargo on the Iran-allied Houthi fighters in Yemen.
"Haley's remarks are aimed at keeping up anti-Iran hype so Iran would be placed back under Chapter VII of the UN Charter," Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh said in a Friday talk with ICANA.
A historic nuclear deal between Iran and six powers placed Tehran's nuclear program under temporary constraints in return for a sanctions relief that involved the termination of all the UN sanctions resolutions imposed under Chapter VII.
US President Donald Trump has adopted a harsh line against Iran and the pact, negotiated by the previous US administration. The US envoy was quoted by RFE/RL as saying on Thursday that it is "time for the Security Council to act" following the release of a UN report accusing Iran of breaching the UN sanctions on supply of weapons to Houthis.
"This report highlights what we've been saying for months: Iran has been illegally transferring weapons in violation of multiple Security Council resolutions," Haley said.
The report by a UN panel of experts last month claimed to have found that Iranian ballistic missiles and other weapons were introduced into Yemen after an embargo against arming Yemen's Houthi troops was put in place in 2015, and that Iran failed to take measures needed to prevent those weapons from reaching the fighters. 
The report concluded that Iran was thus in violation of the arms embargo. Iran is also prohibited under a separate UN resolution from transferring weapons unless the Security Council approves it.
"The world cannot continue to allow these blatant violations to go unanswered," Haley contended. "Iran needs to know that there are consequences for defying the international community. It's time for the security council to act."
Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against Houthis in an attempt to restore power to the ousted president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. 
Iran has flatly denied supplying the Houthis with such weaponry. 
  Little Chance 
"Haley's claims have little chance of success in forging a consensus against Iran because it has never violated international conventions and Saudi Arabia itself uses missiles in Yemen's war that are much more advanced than the Yemeni ones and are aimed at genocide," Falahatpisheh said. UN diplomats have said the report is likely to be addressed in a resolution renewing the Yemeni arms embargo that the council will consider later this month.
Haley has repeatedly pushed for Security Council action against Iran, inviting UN ambassadors that sit on the council to view what the United States maintains is evidence that Iran's ballistic missiles were used by the Houthi forces to launch attacks against Saudi Arabia several times last year. 
Weapons experts have said the presentation—of fragments of what military officials claimed were Iranian-made Qiam missiles, as well as a drone and an anti-tank missile—had failed to prove conclusively that Iran violated any sanctions. Tehran has dismissed the evidence supplied by the United States and Saudi Arabia as "fabricated".
Russian UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia traveled to Washington last month to view the missile fragments and other US evidence, and afterwards expressed doubts about Iran's involvement in the missile strikes against Riyadh.
Nebenzia said Yemen has been littered with weapons from many conflicts over the years and that he could not determine "anything conclusive".
"I am not an expert to judge," he said.
Opposition from Russia, which has veto power on the Security Council, could sink any US effort to push for further council measures against Iran.


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