Iran sees failure of opponents at UN

February 27, 2018 - 19:47

TEHRAN – The United States and United Kingdom, backed by a whole gamut of other allies, failed on Monday to pass a resolution at the UN Security Council which sought to legitimize accusations that Iran is responsible for arming Houthis in Yemen.

A UK-drafted resolution gained 11 favorable votes at the 15-member Security Council but was halted by a Russian veto.

"We cannot concur with uncorroborated conclusions and evidence which requires verification and discussions within the sanctions committee," Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the Council.

Earlier in the month, Britain circulated a draft resolution that would renew sanctions on Yemen for another year and also “condemns” Iran for allegedly breaching the 2015 arms embargo on the country by "failing to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer" of short-range ballistic missiles, UAVs and other military equipment to Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The draft resolution, backed by France, called for unspecified measures in response to the UN report about Iran’s alleged role in Yemen, stressing that the council will take “additional measures to address these violations,” and that “any activity related to the use of ballistic missiles in Yemen” is a criteria for sanctions.

A group of UN experts monitoring the sanctions on Yemen reported to the Security Council in January that it had “identified missile remnants, related military equipment and military unmanned aerial vehicles that are of Iranian origin and were brought into Yemen after the imposition of the targeted arms embargo.”

The UN experts, however, said they were unable to identify the supplier.

Iran’s envoy to the United Nations condemned the anti-Iran move.

The draft resolution was an attempt to deflect the international community's attention away from the war crimes being committed by the Saudi regime in Yemen, Gholam Ali Khoshroo said in a statement on Monday.

The envoy rejected the allegations that his country had been supplying weapons to the Ansarullah movement.

Khoshroo also reiterated Tehran's stance on Yemen, stressing that only a political solution and intra-Yemeni dialogue can put an end to the country's conflict.

In Tehran, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi described the move against Iran as “biased”.

“I think it is quite clear that these accusations and the way the Yemen Committee expert report and that of the Security Council were drafted were biased.”

Referring to the UK, Araqchi said, “They had made up their minds before they even had to come to Iran and hear us. Accordingly, they were seeking through a one-sided report to pass a resolution at the Security Council.”

“But of course now the Americans have failed and this is not their first in the past years.”

“Over the past year, the American government has tried to drag Iran to the Security Council over issues such as missile tests, domestic protests, or the Yemeni issue. But this shows America’s isolation,” Araqchi said. “We will continue our policies in the region and what benefits the interests of governments.”

After they failed to pass the resolution, the United States threatened unilateral action against Iran.

“If Russia is going to continue to cover for Iran then the U.S. and our partners need to take action on our own. If we’re not going to get action on the council then we have to take our own actions,” U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told reporters during a visit to Honduran capital Tegucigalpa.

Haley did not specify what kind of action could be taken.

Western sources saw the Russian veto as a defeat for the United States, which has been lobbying for months for Iran to be held accountable at the United Nations, while at the same time threatening to quit a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran.

Iranian Ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeedinejad also saw the story as a failure for the U.S. and the very person of Haley.

In a message on Monday night, the ambassador expressed pity that the Security Council had turned into a scene to stage political differences rather than to find a way to stop the human crisis in Yemen and force Saudi Arabia to stop bombarding the country.

“Regarding a resolution that was about Yemen, America took no note of Yemen,” Baeedinejad wrote, underlining that Washington was instead following three objectives: To name Iran as a violator of sanctions on Yemen, involve Resolution 2231 on Iran’s missiles in the case and thereby re-introduce the issue of Iranian missiles at the Council, and finally accuse Iran as violator of international resolutions and thereby pave the way for fresh sanctions on Tehran.

The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman also issued a statement on Tuesday calling the move against Iran at the UN “childish scenario”.

Bahram Qassemi said the U.S. and UK in the past three years have failed to play a constructive role over the Yemeni crisis and have instead tried to legitimize the aggressors.

Refuting any accusation that Iran sends missile to Yemen, Qassemi said, “We have already responded to this false, baseless and unsubstantiated claim many times. We have to emphasize that Yemeni army and Popular Committees don’t need foreign weaponry aid.”

He said Yemeni people’s defense of their national dignity is the main cause of the Saudi-led attack on their country.

“All states, including the aggressors, know this fact very well that despite the tight blockade imposed on Yemeni people, who are suffering from famine… as well as many chronic diseases, they have resisted fiercely to the airstrikes conducted by Saudi Arabia’s warplanes on a daily basis.” 

Qassemi underlined that amid such a situation, the claim that Iran is sending missiles to Yemen is “a childish, naive and false scenario which cannot contribute at all to efforts to acquit the aggressors of the country.”

The spokesman further called for an immediate halt to the arms sale by the U.S. and European countries to Saudi Arabia and other aggressive and war-mongering states in the region, saying they use the weapons to kill tens of defenseless men, women and children in Yemen on a daily basis who are suffering from a growing poverty and insecurity day by day.


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