U.S. Threatens Action Against Iran after Russia UN Veto

The United States threatened unilateral action against Iran on Monday after Russia vetoed a western bid for the United Nations Security Council to call out Tehran for failing to prevent its weapons from falling into the hands of Yemen’s Houthi group, Reuters reports.

“If Russia is going to continue to cover for Iran then the U.S. and our partners need to take action on our own. If we’re not going to get action on the council then we have to take our own actions,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told reporters during a visit to Honduran capital Tegucigalpa.

Haley did not specify what kind of action could be taken.

The Russian veto was a defeat for the United States, which has been lobbying for months for Iran to be held accountable at the United Nations, while at the same time threatening to quit a 2015 deal among world powers to curb Iran’s nuclear program if “disastrous flaws” are not fixed.

“Obviously this vote isn’t going to make the decision on the nuclear deal. What I can say is it doesn’t help. That just validated a lot of what we already thought which is Iran gets a pass for its dangerous and illegal behavior,” Haley said.

The United States will continue telling the world about Iran’s harmful actions until Tehran halts its activities, undermining stability in the Middle East, a representative of the US mission to the UN said on Tuesday.

“We will not stop until Tehran is stopped,” Kelley Eckels-Currie said as quoted by the UN press service in a statement.

Eckels-Currie continued by saying that the Russian veto was aimed at protecting Iran and its activities in the region. The US representative also accused Bolivia, Russia, and Kazakhstan of protecting Iran from being held accountable for its alleged actions promoting chaos in the Middle East.

The U.S. diplomat stressed that the actions of these countries, which had counteracted the UK-drafted resolution, would not go unanswered.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned European allies last month that they had to commit by mid-May to work with Washington to improve the pact. Britain drafted the failed UN resolution in consultation with the United States and France.

The initial draft text – to renew the annual mandate of a targeted sanctions regime related to Yemen – wanted to include a condemnation of Iran for violating an arms embargo on Houthi leaders and include a council commitment to take action over it.

In a bid to win Moscow’s support, the draft that was vetoed had been weakened to simply “note with particular concern” the violation, which was reported to the council by UN experts monitoring sanctions. It received 11 votes in favor, two against – Russia and Bolivia – while China and Kazakhstan abstained.