The UN Security Council had rejected a U.S.-sponsored resolution to extend an arms embargo on Iran that is due to expire in October, setting the stage for Washington to act on threats that could kill the Iran nuclear deal and plunge the United Nations into a diplomatic crisis.
Major US resolution failed at security council vote
The August 14 vote on the resolution was widely expected to fail in the 15-member Security Council due to strong opposition from veto-wielding members Russia and China.
“The UN Security Council failed today to hold Iran accountable. It enabled the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism to buy and sell deadly weapons and ignored the demands of countries in the Middle East. America will continue to work to correct this mistake,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after the vote.
In a diplomatic blow that reveals Washington’s isolation at the UN over the issue, the resolution failed with two voting in favor and two against, while 11 members abstained.
Washington did not even receive the nine votes it needed in favor that would have required Russia and China to use their vetoes.
Tehran mocked Washington for winning just a single vote of support, from the Dominican Republic.
Amid Germany troop pullout, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seeks friends in Central and Eastern Europe https://t.co/6Yhw2kaPy1
— The Straits Times (@straits_times) August 9, 2020
“In the 75 years of United Nations history, America has never been so isolated,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Musavi tweeted.
“Despite all the trips, pressure, and the hawking, the United States could only mobilize a small country [to vote] with them.”
China’s UN mission tweeted that the “result shows again that unilateralism enjoys no support, and bullying will fail.”
Pompeo faces ridicule online
The top US diplomat was referring to the avalanche of sanctions Washington has been hellbent on slapping on Tehran after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) overwhelmingly rejected the US resolution to extend a 13-year arms embargo against the Islamic Republic past October earlier this week. The ridicule Mike Pompeo faced online was addressing his claim that USA could impose multilateral sanctions on Iran.
The humiliating defeat, which saw only one member of the 15-nation body (the Dominican Republic) siding with the US, while China and Russia opposed the resolution, and all other nations, including France and the UK, abstained, did not discourage Washington, which doubled down on its threat to hit Iran with biting sanctions.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft said that the US would leave no stone unturned in its push to impose sanctions on Iran, saying that the US “has every right” to target it with so-called ‘snapback’ sanctions under the 2015 nuclear deal which can be enforced if a signatory deems Iran to be in violation of the agreement. Despite leaving the deal in 2018 and effectively bringing it to the brink of collapse with its unilateral withdrawal, the US reportedly circulated a memorandum among the UNSC members, claiming that it was still a member of the accord.
US can’t force others to impose sanctions
Pompeo’s interpretation of ‘multilateral’ coupled with his intent to disregard any objections other parties to the nuclear agreement (Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany) may have, baffled quite a few people online and prompted them to ridicule Pompeo.
“Of course other states can block America’s ability to impose multilateral sanctions. The US can impose sanctions by itself, but can’t force others to do it,” Nicholas Grossman, teaching assistant professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Illinois, tweeted.
“That’s what ‘multilateral’ means. Is our SecState really this dumb?” Grossman asked.
Mike Pompeo on Wednesday opened the way for tougher sanctions to stop the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that Russia is building to U.S. ally Germanyhttps://t.co/Q7nIV22wcG
— The Moscow Times (@MoscowTimes) July 16, 2020
Daniel Larison, the senior editor at the American Conservative, suggested that Pompeo might be having a hard time grasping the meaning of the word ‘multilateral’.
Some argued that Pompeo could not be unaware of the contradictory nature of his statement. Dan Murphy, former the Middle East and South Asia correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, called it “one of the most diplomatically illiterate sentences of all time.”
“I guess the end game here is [to] alienate the rest of the world even further to feed his persecution complex?” Murphy wrote.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk