Every month the U.N. Security Council holds a discussion on Middle East issues that has become an opportunity for Council members to routinely bash Israel. That is, until now.
At this month’s open debate on the Middle East, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley criticized this “absurdly biased” and “painfully narrow” formula. “These meetings do nothing to bring the parties closer together,” she said. “Peace [between Israel and the Palestinians] will only come from direct negotiations, not from one-sided Security Council meetings and one-sided resolutions.”
Ambassador Haley urged her colleagues in the Security Council to speak “honestly” about the various conflicts in the Middle East. To do so, she said, “We need to start with the chief culprit: Iran and its partner militia, Hezbollah.”
Ambassador Haley stated that in Lebanon, “Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, uses towns to shield its arsenals of tens of thousands of illegal rockets”. In Syria, Iran’s militias “stand side by side with Syrian troops as they slaughter the Syrian people.” At times Hezbollah is commanding Bashar al-Assad’s fighters. Reportedly it is even recruiting Syrian children to indoctrinate a new generation with its toxic ideology.
“Hezbollah is a terrorist group spreading its influence across the Middle East with the backing of a state sponsor…[Iran and Hezbollah] are working together to expand extremist ideologies in the Middle East,” Ambassador Haley said. “That is the threat that should be dominating our discussion at this Security Council.”
In response to the threat, the United States imposed targeted sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard – Qods Force and Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security for their support of the Assad regime. The U.S. has designated members of Iranian-backed terrorist organizations in Bahrain. In addition, the U.S. continues to vigorously enforce sanctions against Iran, including those related to Iran’s support for terrorism and destabilizing regional activities.
“Iran’s ballistic missile tests defy Security Council resolutions and further undermine the stability in the region,” Ambassador Haley said. “We call on all states to fully implement Resolution 2231, which strictly circumscribes the transfer of weapons to and from Iran, as well as the arms embargoes against the Houthis in Resolution 2216 and for Lebanon in Resolution 1701.”
“The incredibly destructive nature of Iranian and Hezbollah activities throughout the Middle East demands much more of our attention,” Ambassador Haley said. “It should become this Council’s priority in the region.”