Iran: New Unjust Accusations by Washington

Transcript of Skype Interview with PressTV

Background by Michelle Nichols:

UNITED NATIONS, January 26 (Reuters): The United States will seek to boost its case for United Nations action against Iran when Security Council envoys visit Washington on Monday to view pieces of weapons that U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley says Tehran gave to Yemen’s Houthi group.

Haley and her 14 council colleagues will also lunch with President Donald Trump, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, said Friday.

The Trump administration has for months been lobbying 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.

The U.N. ambassadors will visit a military hangar at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling near Washington, where Haley, the U.S envoy to the United Nations, last month presented remnants of what the Pentagon said was an Iranian-made ballistic missile fired from Yemen on Nov. 4 at Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh, as well as other weapons.

A proxy war is playing out in Yemen between Iran and U.S. ally Saudi Arabia.

Iran has denied supplying the Houthis with such weaponry and described the arms displayed in Washington as “fabricated.” However, experts reported to the Security Council this month that Iran had violated U.N. sanctions on Yemen because “it failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer” of short-range ballistic missiles and other equipment to the Iran-allied Houthi group.

The independent experts said they had “identified missile remnants, related military equipment and military unmanned aerial vehicles that are of Iranian origin and were introduced into Yemen after the imposition of the targeted arms embargo.”

Haley said last month she was exploring several U.N. options for pressuring Iran to “adjust their behavior”. But she is likely to struggle to convince some Security Council members, like veto powers Russia and China, that U.N. action is needed.

Most sanctions on Iran were lifted at the start of 2016 under the nuclear deal, which is enshrined in a U.N. Security Council resolution. The resolution still subjects Tehran to a U.N. arms embargo and other restrictions that are technically not part of the nuclear deal.

Haley has said the Security Council could strengthen the provisions in that resolution or adopt a new resolution banning Iran from all activities related to ballistic missiles. To pass, a resolution needs nine votes in favor, and no vetoes by the United States, Britain, France, China or Russia.

Under the current resolution, Iran is “called upon” to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years. Some states argue that the language of the resolution does not make it obligatory.

A separate U.N. resolution on Yemen bans the supply of weapons to Houthi leaders and “those acting on their behalf or at their direction.”

The United States could propose people or entities to be blacklisted by the council’s Yemen sanctions committee, a closed-door move that would need consensus approval by the 15-members. Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, say Haley has not signaled which accountability option she might pursue or when.


PressTV: What is your reaction to this new accusation by Washington?

Peter Koenig: First – Iran has not, and I repeat has not, infringed on any of the Nuclear Deal’s conditions, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed by the 5+1 on July 14, 2015 in Vienna, Austria.

Ever since Trump became President – even before – he said that Obama’s deal was a bad deal and that he wanted to repeal it.

We have to understand that President Trump is totally in the hands of Israel, manipulated by Netanyahu, much more so than previous Presidents.

Washington will try to find any reason to either increase the completely illegal sanctions on Iran or cancel the deal altogether. There is no doubt in my mind about it. They will not shy back from inventing and fabricating “evidence” that the missile remnants Haley wants to show to UN Security Council members are from Iran.

Also, Washington is again attempting to convince the UNSC members that Iran is not trustworthy and that the nuclear deal should be abolished. That would for once be difficult, especially to convince the Europeans, notably France and Germany, since they have already signed trade and technology exchange agreements worth billions with Iran.

PTV: Ms. Haley claims she has independent experts who will attest that the weapon remnants are from Iran supplied missiles. How, do you believe Ms. Haley will prove that point?

PK: There are no independent experts when it comes to the US and Washington.  Any “expert” is either coerced or bought.

Washington’s credibility is zero. Remember what happened at the UN Security Council on February 3, when Colin Powell lied, yes, outright lied, with fabricated evidence to the Council, saying that Iraq had WMDs? This gave the impetus to invade Iraq – the rest is history. We know what happened and still happens – millions of innocent people killed and maimed and the war is far from over. Would the world be so naïve as to believe another lie, this time by the queen of deceit, Nikki Haley?

Besides – and this must be said too – does anybody ever mention in the western mainstream media how Saudi Arabia as a proxy for the US and the UK with weapons and planes from the UK and the US is destroying Yemen, killing and maiming tens of thousands of people, letting an entire country starve to death, closing all the borders and harbors – no food, no medicine can get into the country. This is a crime with genocide dimensions.

UNICEF and UN observers are saying that this is the most horrendous humanitarian crime committed in recent history – and this by the United States and the UK via Saudi Arabia.

So – what does Ms. Haley really have to say, when it comes to accusing anyone of infringement of UN Resolutions? She has nothing to say – she has zero, but zero argument – as most of the time, when she speaks at the UN, and I’m confident that Russia and China are not going to fall into this trap.

Peter Koenig is a geopolitical analyst and a former Senior Economist at the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), where he worked for over 30 years around the world. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals and is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed; and  co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020)  Peter is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and is also a non-resident Senior Fellow of the Chongyang Institute of Renmin University, Beijing. Read other articles by Peter.