New York (GPA) – Russia vetoed a United Nations resolution implicating Iran in “terror activities” concerning Yemen. Despite thwarting a potential NATO-led war against Iran, sanctions on war-torn Yemen remain.
The United Kingdom sponsored the botched resolution with support from 11 out of 15 Security Council members. China and Kazakhstan abstained from voting while Bolivia also voted against the resolution.
This resolution would have directly blamed Iran for allegedly transferring weapons and missile parts to Yemen’s revolutionary government of Ansarullah. Iran denies supplying Ansarullah (so-called Houthis) with anything beyond moral support. Ansarullah denies receiving any support from Iran and no concrete evidence exists to suggest otherwise.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi called the measure “a childish, naive and false scenario which cannot contribute at all to efforts to acquit the aggressors of the country.” He also added that Europe and the United States should immediately halt arms shipments to Saudi Arabia due to its role killing innocent civilians on a daily basis.
If passed, this resolution could have opened the door to a full-blown NATO war against Iran under the pretext of sponsoring so-called “terror.” US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, backed up this possibility threatening “unilateral action” against the Islamic Republic.
“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,” Haley told reporters.
The UK resolution could also preempt the United States and other nations to label the Ansarullah government as a terror group to expand airstrikes and military involvement. However, these entities likely understand that Iran does not supply the Yemenis with weapons. They also know that Ansarullah does not carry out terror attacks or strike civilian targets. Instead, the resolution’s purpose was to attack Iran — the Yemen issue is truly secondary.
Russia spent the weekend drafting a counter resolution. This measure upholds the devastating sanctions against Yemen but removes Iran’s name from the document. The UNSC unanimously adopted this draft.
Covering Their Own War Crimes
The UK resolution was a clear attempt to skirt the West’s own war crimes in Yemen.
Far from a mere passive observer, the United States provides both military and intelligence support to Emirati and Saudi-backed forces. Saudi airstrikes and ground operations have killed and injured over 35,000 people in the past three years.
US forces provide intelligence support for selecting airstrike targets. Riyadh’s airstrike campaign frequently targets markets, homes, cars, media crews, farms, factories, prisons, and even ambulance crews entering bomb sites. This affirms Washington’s direct participation in gruesome war crimes and arguably genocide against the Yemeni people.
United States Navy ships enforce the siege and blockade throughout the Red Sea by prohibiting aid and cargo ships from docking in resistance-held territory such as Hodeidah port. (It’s also worth mentioning that Saudi airstrikes destroyed the port’s cranes a while back.)
Over eight million Yemenis face direct famine due to the land, air, and sea blockade which severely restricts food, aid, salaries, flow of movement, and vital medical supplies. Saudi Arabia demanded the closure of Yemen’s main airport in Sana’a and subsequently destroyed its infrastructure.
The United States also helped the United Arab Emirates operate 18 black site detention centers and flood the country with foreign mercenaries through Blackwater.
Of Course, Yemen’s Opinion is Irrelevant
Yemen’s revolutionary government of Ansarullah maintains that their weapons program is completely domestic. The former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh received considerable military support from George Bush Jr. during the initial “War on Terror” campaign. Yemen also has a large stockpile of weapons due to decades of support from North Korea and the Soviet Union.
Once again, the only entity left out of the discussion is, in fact, Yemen.
There is absolutely no shortage of weapons in Yemen and, as such, no reason Ansarullah could not engineer advanced missiles using this supply. Since the beginning of the Saudi-led war, Yemen’s revolutionary forces have developed advanced military defense programs including long-range missiles, naval missiles, spy drones, and anti-aircraft weapons.
These programs are vital for protecting civilians from US, Emirati, and Saudi aggression.
Yemen’s revolutionary government recently submitted a six-point reconciliation plan to the UN and has sent an international delegation to spearhead the process.
Of course, this was not mentioned in the UK resolution or UNSC discussion.
Also published on Medium.