Niu Song Interviewed by Global Times on UN Security Council with Iran sanctions
Publish time: 2020-08-17 Browsing times: 10

MESI  researcher Niu Song received interview by Global Times on UN Security Council with Iran sanctions on August 17, 2020, the full text is as follows:

US dumped at UN Security Council with Iran sanctions

The US suffered a humiliating defeat on Friday at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) when only one country joined it to vote in favor for a proposal to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran, which is set to expire on October 18. Eleven members on the 15-member body, including Washington's strongest allies, such as France, Germany and the UK, abstained, despite pressure from the Trump administration. 

Although the US is pushing hard for an extension of the UN arms embargo on Iran, it has gained little support from the international community. Its European allies, in particular, also disagree with the US plan. The embarrassing defeat at the UNSC has laid bare the US' deepening global isolation on Iran.

The scale of US defeat is not surprising. Washington has been isolated at the UN as its present proposal has no legal basis. Under UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231, which endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the arms embargo on Iran expires on October 18. As China's Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun said on Friday, the US proposal is about re-imposing sanctions on Iran. This is a continuation of the maximum pressure policy which is inconsistent with the spirit of the Iran nuclear deal and the provisions of UNSCR 2231.

The US' European allies have refused to support Washington's proposal because they have huge differences with the US regarding their core interests with Iran. Many unilateral actions taken by the US and the new cold war offensive it launched against China have been damaging to the international community and some of the US' closest European allies alike.

Although they still cooperate with Washington on certain issues, they have not wavered on matters relating to their core interests. On the issue of fighting the raging COVID-19 pandemic, Paris and Berlin quit talks on reforming the World Health Organization in frustration at attempts by Washington to dictate terms despite its decision to leave the organization, according to a Reuters report earlier this month.

When it comes to the Iran issue, Europe has huge energy and geopolitical interests in the Middle East. It's also of great importance for the continent's security. It in fact guides Europe's unswerving stance to maintain the framework of the Iran nuclear deal, and oppose the US withdrawal from it. It leads the bloc to not join the US to increase crackdowns and sanctions on Iran.

The US plan to establish a Middle East security alliance, something like an Arab NATO, and to extend an arms embargo on Iran, is not being warmly welcomed by US allies in Europe. In general, they maintain coordination with the US on issues of concern, but they won't yield to US pressure on issues related to core interests.

Currently, the confrontation between the US and Europe over the Iran nuclear issue is obvious. Because Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, restarted sanctions on Iran, and is trying to coerce Iran into concessions through unilateral acts, the risk of regional turmoil has risen. This puts European interests in the region in jeopardy.

It was reported on Saturday that in order to avoid confrontation and aggravation of the situation in the UN Security Council regarding the Iran nuclear deal, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a videoconference of the heads of the UNSC permanent member states, along with the leaders of Iran and Germany. French President Emmanuel Macron said he is open to taking part in a virtual summit proposed by Putin, but Trump dismissed Putin's call by saying he probably will not participate. When the other powers try hard to push for diplomacy and negotiations as the way out, Trump's administration insists on going on its own way. Washington is stubbornly sticking to its maximum pressure policy and has no interest in sitting down with other parties for talks. 

After the UNSC rejected the US bid to extend the arms embargo on Iran, Washington threatened it would try a controversial snapback to force a return of UN sanctions against Iran. The Trump administration is noticeably trying to gain the support of the UNSC, but it often makes unilateral actions that violate international law without the authorization of the UN. As long as it doesn't change its stance, the rift and conflicts between the US and Europe on the Iran nuclear issue cannot be bridged, and the US will become more isolated.

Source: Global Times