London, 20 Apr – Issues with Israel have been at the core of meetings with the United Nations Security Council for some time now, prompting criticism from US Ambassador Nikki Haley. She wants to take the focus off Israel and tackle the issues regarding Iran.
Iran has been the subject of recent criticism by President Trump and his administration and now Haley is keen to tackle the threat posed by the country.
She will take the opportunity at the next monthly meeting regarding “the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” to focus on the Islamic Republic and its role in Syria and Yemen, as well as its support for militia groups. Haley sees Iran as the central issue when it comes to the problems in the Middle East.
After the Security Council meeting in February, Haley criticised the lack of focus on Iran. She said: “Incredibly, the UN Department of Political Affairs has an entire department devoted to Palestinian affair. There is no division devoted to the world’s number one state sponsor of terror, Iran.”
Yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivered a harsh criticism of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal saying that it does not take the nuclear threat away – it only pushes the date back. He added that the nuclear deal “completely ignored all of the other serious threats that Iran poses”.
He also said that the US will decide whether to re-impose the economic sanctions that were eased as part of the nuclear deal.
However, it may be a difficult task getting the Security Council to shift the focus to Iran. For years it has concentrated on Israel.
Experts and Middle East analysts say that the Trump administration needs to come up with a plan for curbing Iran’s nefarious and malign activities in the Middle East. Although there has been tough talk and sanctions with regards to Iran, there is no firm plans about how the United States is actually going to curb the Islamic State.
The consequences of each option need to be carefully considered too. If the United States decides to breach the nuclear deal, it must be realised that this is a conflict with other global powers and allies that are still party to or in favour of the agreement.
The shift on foreign policy has made a big difference to Iran. President Obama’s administration spent a lot of time accommodating the Iranian regime, but the Trump administration has gone the other way and has been approaching the Islamic Republic with a certain degree of confrontation.
The biggest challenge for now is building a consensus with the Security Council.