First Published: 2017-10-19

Haley: Iran must be judged in totality of its aggressive behaviour
US Ambassador pushes UN Security Council to follow tougher US stance on Iran which it accuses of threatening peace, security in Mideast.
Middle East Online

'Judging Iran by the narrow confines of the nuclear deal misses the true nature of the threat'

UNITED NATIONS - US Ambassador Nikki Haley urged the UN Security Council on Wednesday to follow in the US footsteps and confront Iran over what she described as its "aggressive, destabilizing and unlawful behaviour" in the Middle East.

The council met for its monthly debate on the region just days after US President Donald Trump refused to certify the Iran nuclear deal, leaving its fate to the US Congress.

"The United States has embarked on a course that attempts to address all aspects of Iran's destructive conduct -- not just one aspect," Haley told the council.

"It's critical that the international community do the same."

Trump's decision has been sharply criticized by Washington's partners in the deal -- France, Britain, China, and Russia -- which sit on the Security Council as permanent members along with the United States. Germany is also a signatory.

The 2015 nuclear deal was unanimously endorsed in a Security Council resolution, placing the onus on the top UN body to ensure its implementation.

Haley accused Iran of "playing" the council by complying with technical provisions of the deal while threatening peace and security in the Middle East with its "outlaw behaviour."

The council has adopted a "dangerously short-sighted approach", Haley said.

"Judging Iran by the narrow confines of the nuclear deal misses the true nature of the threat."

"Iran must be judged in totality of its aggressive, destabilizing and unlawful behaviour. To do otherwise would be foolish," she said.

- No mention of the Palestinians -

Haley pointed to arms sales and military support in Yemen, Lebanon and Syria as examples of Iranian violations of UN resolutions while singling out Iran's missile launches as "the regime's most threatening act."

The tougher US stance toward Iran provides an opportunity for the council to show that it will defend its resolutions and "change its policy toward the Iranian regime," she said.

Haley's appeal, however, failed to draw strong support.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia tersely reminded Haley that the Middle East debate is aimed at tackling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that she "didn't even mention the word Palestine."

Turning to Iran, Nebenzia warned that "attempts to dismantle the architecture of the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program will lead to a negative reaction in the Middle East and beyond."

France did not mention the Iran nuclear deal, and warned against downplaying the importance of a Israeli-Palestinian deal to foster stability in the Middle East.

Britain said it was ready to address concerns about Iran's ballistic missile program and regional activities, but warned against scrapping the nuclear deal altogether.

"We encourage careful consideration of the implications to the security of the US and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the JCPOA, such as re-imposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement," said British Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Allen.

The nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), provided for a gradual lifting of sanctions on Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.

Iran's ambassador hit back, accusing Haley of providing "the wrong address when it comes to the root causes of insecurity in the Middle East".

At the "core" of the all conflicts in the Middle East is Israel's "occupation of Palestinian land," said Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo.

He argued that "no country had done more than Iran" in the fight against the Islamic State group and slammed the US administration for selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, which is waging war in Yemen.

Council members heard a briefing from UN official Miroslav Jenca, who welcomed the recent Palestinian unity deal and again criticized Israel for building new settlements in the West Bank.


Iraq launches operation to clear last IS holdouts from desert

Divided Syria opposition meets in Riyadh

Lebanon’s Hariri suspends resignation

Revolt in US State Department over child soldier law

Outrage in Iraq over 'child marriage' bill

Syrian opposition aims for unity at talks in Riyadh

Egypt police kill 3 Islamists in shootout

Turkey unsure if Assad to be part of Syria political transition

Migrant arrivals from Libya down since EU deal

Palestinian factions leave Cairo talks with little progress

Sudan’s Bashir looks to Putin for ‘protection’ from US aggression

China, Djibouti forge 'strategic' ties

IS propaganda channels fall quiet in 'unprecedented' hiatus

Kremlin to create Syria congress despite Turkey ‘reservations’

Netanyahu berates deputy minister for 'offensive' remarks on US Jews

Egypt PM heads to Germany for medical treatment

Egypt destroys 10 SUVs carrying arms on Libya border

Saudi-led coalition to reopen Yemen airport, port to aid

Turkey court rules to keep Amnesty chief in jail

France calls for UN meeting on Libya slave-trading

Egypt detains 29 for allegedly spying for Turkey

WTO panel to hear Qatar’s complaint against UAE blockade

Three dead as diphtheria spreads in Yemen

Israel seizes explosive material at Gaza border

Activists call for release of UK journalist held by IS

Bahrain upholds jail sentence for activist

Iraq attacks at lowest since 2014

Turkey continues crackdown in post-coup probe

Hariri back in Lebanon

Putin to hold Syria peace talks with Erdogan, Rouhani

US carries out air strikes against IS in Libya

Lebanon's Hariri in Egypt ahead of return home

Rebels say Sanaa airport 'ready to run' after coalition bombing

Greece to amend historic sharia law for Muslim minority

Turkey to ask Germany to extradite top coup suspect

Car bomb in northern Iraq kills at least 24

Morocco bans bitcoin transactions

13 million Syrians need aid despite relative drop in violence

Sudan urged to improve plight of Darfur's displaced people

Brain drain means Syria can’t recover for a generation

Palestinians close communication lines with Americans

Anti-IS coalition strikes drop to lowest number

German police arrest six Syrians ‘planning terror attack’

Palestinian factions in Cairo for reconciliation talks

Turkish opposition daily web editor sentenced to 3 years in jail