US to lead UN Security Council talks on Iran: envoy

AFP, UNITED NATIONS

Thu, Sep 06, 2018 - Page 7

US President Donald Trump plans to lead a meeting on Iran with the heads of state of the UN Security Council late this month, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said on Tuesday.

With the US now holding the presidency of the Security Council, Haley said the aim is to put further pressure on Tehran over its alleged breaches of council resolutions.

“President Trump is very adamant that we have to start making sure that Iran is falling in line with international order,” Haley told reporters.

“If you continue to look at the spread Iran has had in supporting terrorism, if you continue to look at the ballistic missile testing that they are doing, if you continue to look at the sales of weapons we see with the Houthis in Yemen — these are all violations of Security Council resolutions,” she said.

“These are all threats to the region, and these are all things that the international community needs to talk about,” she added.

SANCTIONS REINSTATED

Washington has sought to build international pressure on Iran after reimposing tough, unilateral sanctions on Aug. 7 and setting a Nov. 5 deadline for halting Iran’s oil exports.

Those moves came after the US in May decided to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, saying that it failed to put enough pressure on Tehran to halt its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.

In reaction to the reimposition of sanctions, Iran demanded that the International Court of Justice suspend the unilateral US sanctions.

Europe has resisted joining the US sanctions move, but earlier this week Japanese media said that Tokyo had agreed to suspend crude imports from Iran.

Haley denied that the US was seeking a regime change in Iran, saying that the US effort is aimed at supporting the desires of the “Iranian people.”

“We are going to stand with the Iranian people. They have every right to be heard in their government and they have every right to change it,” she said.

However, Russian Deputy Ambassador to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy pushed back, saying that any meeting on Iran should also discuss the consequences of the US’ withdrawal from the deal.

Beyond Iran, the US presidency of the Security Council for this month is likely to generate numerous controversies for the body’s 14 other members.

Among these is Washington’s decision to hold a meeting yesterday on bloody anti-government protests in Nicaragua, drawing criticism from Russia, Bolivia and China, which said that the unrest in the Central American country does not threaten international security and peace.