"Where is the outrage of this Council?" Haley asked
Iran's leader called Trump a "big mouth" who "pretends to be an idiot" on Wednesday
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned Wednesday that the UN Security Council was being “played” by Iran and accused her diplomatic colleagues of “letting them get away” with a long list of violations of international law and United Nations resolutions.
In a Security Council session that was due to be devoted to the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock, Haley ranged further in the Middle East, accusing Tehran of fomenting terrorism in Lebanon and Yemen, firing ballistic missiles counter to the spirit of the historic nuclear deal, imprisoning foreign journalists and tourists and allowing Iranian leaders to travel in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
“Where is the outrage of this council?” Haley asked. She told the UN to not just focus on the nuclear agreement but to pay attention to a host of violations in other areas.
Haley warned that when a “rogue regime starts down the path of ballistic missiles it tells us we will soon have another North Korea on our hands.” She noted international approval of Iran’s compliance of the nuclear pact so far, which is designed to freeze Iran’s nuclear program. “Iran hides behind its assertion of technical compliance with the nuclear deal while it brazenly violates the other limits on its behavior.” She added: “This must stop.”
Haley’s criticisms sought to weaken support for the nuclear deal at the Council, which formally endorsed the measure. However, US allies are still firmly backing the agreement. Jonathan Allen, the United Kingdom’s deputy UN ambassador, said the UK stands committed to the pact, which caps Iran’s nuclear program for 10 years.
Haley told the council that inside Iran, Christians and other minorities are persecuted, gays and lesbians are executed and freedom of speech is denied. Haley said Iran is “thumbing its nose” at UN Security Council resolutions designed to prohibit Iranian support for regional conflicts and terrorism. She said senior Iranian leaders are traveling to Syria and Iraq in violation of international travel bans, claiming ‘you can find photos on social media’ of an Iranian military leader visiting Russia.
Russian UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya sounded surprised at Haley’s choice of topic, wondering if certain delegations “confused the agenda item they were speaking on.”
US President Donald Trump announced Friday he wanted to decertify the Iran nuclear agreement, formulated by the Obama administration and international partners, having it called it the “most embarrassing” deal ever signed.
Iran’s Supreme Leader the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Trump a “big mouth” who “pretends to be an idiot” in a televised speech on Wednesday, saying the US is “an agent of international Zionism” and the creator of ISIS.
Khamenei said that Tehran will not walk out of the nuclear deal if other parties stay, but urged Europeans to do more than talk and refrain from criticizing Iran’s Middle East policies.
UN secretary general António Guterres told reporters Wednesday at the UN that the nuclear agreement is “essential” and “something that needs to be preserved” to maintain peace and security in the world.
UK deputy ambassador Allen, while standing behind the agreement warned of the implications to the national security interests of the US and its allies before taking any action that might threaten the deal such as re-imposing sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the agreement.
Allen did say the UK shares the concerns of the US over Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional activities.
Haley did not say if the US would push for new diplomatic language against Iran. The presence of permanent council members from Russia and China would make any renewed effort at the UN difficult.