Murphy shows he has no clue about the region

Murphy's law

May 19, 2021 - 20:45

TEHRAN - A rare meeting between U.S. Senator Chris Murphy and Iran’s Ambassador to the UN lays bare the many misperceptions being propagated by the Democrats about the West Asia region. 

It’s not common for Senator Murphy to make formal announcements about his dealings with Iranian officials. Over the past years, he has usually been tight-lipped about his meetings with Iranian diplomats. But on Tuesday, Murphy broke with his modus operandi and issued a readout of his virtual meeting with Iran’s Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi. 

Murphy’s statement showed why the relatively moderate senator had been reluctant to publicize his meetings with Iran. By issuing a controversial statement, he let everyone knows what kind of policies he is advocating. At the end of the day, when you open your mouth, you give others the opportunity to know you more closely. 

Murphy struck a notably negative tone over what is happening in the region; he blamed Iran almost for each and every malaise in the region. He called on Iran to demonstrate “seriousness” in the Vienna nuclear talks, “pressure” Yemen’s Ansarallah (the Houthis) to end the Yemen war, encourage Hamas into stopping its retaliatory missile attacks against Israel, and release a dual national prisoner in Iran.

“I made the case directly to Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi today for the Iranians to engage with seriousness and urgency in nuclear negotiations, pressure the Houthis to end the war in Yemen, urge Hamas to accept a ceasefire and end rocket attacks into Israel, and release Morad Tahbaz from prison,” the U.S. senator said in an ill-advised statement after the meeting. 

The statement was so imbalanced that required a response from Iran. Shahrokh Nazemi, head of the media office of Iran’s permanent mission to the UN, issued a statement on Wednesday to provide clarification on the meeting. 

He said Takht Ravanchi and Murphy discussed a range of issues and the Iranian diplomat reiterated the Iranian position on these issues. According to Nazemi, Takht Ravanchi underlined the need for practical removal of all U.S. sanctions on Iran which were imposed under various labels, calling the removal of sanctions “a key issue.” The Iranian ambassador also explained Tehran’s position for a peaceful end to the war in Yemen.

“In the talks, the Islamic Republic of Iran's will for a peaceful settlement of the war in Yemen was noted, and it was stressed that any solution to the Yemeni crisis must ensure the complete lifting of the siege and the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid to the country and a ceasefire,” Nazemi said, according to Fars News.

As regards Palestine, Takht Ravanchi shed light on Israel’s crimes against the defenseless people of Palestine, reminding him of how the episode began. The Iranian ambassador said that the current violence began with Israel’s provocation and continued with the killing of the Palestinian people. Takht Ravanchi also pointed to the U.S. support for Israel by blocking the adoption of a statement by the Security Council on a ceasefire.

Murphy’s statement exposed his misunderstanding of the region and this most probably was caused during his latest trip to the West Asia region. In his statement, Murphy said he “traveled to Qatar, Oman and Jordan to meet with foreign leaders and senior officials including Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Omani Foreign Minister Al-Busaidi, Qatari Foreign Minister Al-Thani, United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths and several European ambassadors to Yemen to discuss the humanitarian crisis and urgent need to find a political solution to end the war in Yemen.”

So, it’s quite probable that Murphy was given inaccurate, misleading information on Iran’s influence in the region. Iran has always been open to dialogue with neighboring countries on regional issues and it has even entered talks with Saudi Arabia since April. But the Saudis continue to believe that they can achieve their goals in Yemen through the use of power. 

On Palestine, Murphy’s stance has been unbelievable to many observers. He publicly lauded the Biden administration’s stance toward the Israeli aggression against Gaza. The Biden administration has privately supported Israel and did nothing to forces it to end its killing spree in Gaza. However, the Biden administration sought to create the perception that it is privately working on a ceasefire in Gaza, something that was belied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public expression of appreciation to the U.S. for its support for Israel.

However, Murphy wittingly turned blind on Biden’s act of conniving with Israel. To whitewash this collusion, the senator claimed that the Biden administration is making behind-the-scene efforts to bring about a ceasefire in Gaza.

“Biden's team has wisely chosen not to conduct Israel/Gaza diplomacy in public. But Biden made clear he supports a ceasefire and so it shouldn't be surprising that his team are working hard to deescalate the crisis,” Murphy said on Twitter. 

But the senator did not say why the Biden administration blocked the adoption of a statement by the UN Security Council calling for a ceasefire three times.

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