United States President Donald Trump will later this month chair a high-level United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, in a bid to tighten the diplomatic screws on Iran. The American leader is expected to use the session to focus the spotlight on Tehran’s regional expansionism through its proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen; its ballistic missile program; and its global arm sales—all of which, according to the Trump administration, violate existing UNSC resolutions.
“We want to make sure that [the Iranians] understand the world is watching [and] that is the biggest reason for this meeting,” US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley explained, leading analysts to posit that the primary American goal is to continue ratcheting up pressure on the mullahs.
In response, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the US president of hypocrisy, tweeting, “There’s only one UNSC resolution on Iran. @realDonaldTrump is violating it & bullying others to do same. Now he plans to abuse [the rotating] presidency of [the Security Council which Washington holds in September] to divert a session—item devoted to Palestine for 70 yrs—to blame Iran for horrors US & clients have unleashed across M.E. #chutzpah.”
Zarif was referring to the unanimous adoption in July 2015 of UNSC resolution 2231, which endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal—and President Trump’s subsequent unilateral withdrawal from the pact in May.
Washington has to date failed to condemn Iran in the Security Council due to the veto power of the latter’s backers Russia and China. This past February, for example, Moscow torpedoed a US bid to denounce Tehran for shipping weaponry to Houthi rebels in Yemen.