EghtesadOnline: The United Nations and the European Union praised Iran on Thursday for implementing the landmark nuclear deal with six major powers.
However, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley accused Tehran of “destructive and destabilizing” actions from ballistic missile launches to alleged arms smuggling, AP reported.
Speeches at the UN Security Council meeting on the implementation of a UN resolution endorsing the July 2015 nuclear agreement showed the deep division over Iran between the five major powers, most of whom view the deal as a major achievement.
US President Donald Trump has assailed the agreement as a windfall to Iran that only delayed its pursuit of nuclear weapons, Financial Tribune reported.
Iran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful applications and has no military aspects. Haley said the US would adhere to the deal to rein in Iran’s nuclear program while conducting a comprehensive review.
She focused on what the US views as Iran's repeated violations of the 2015 resolution, which she accused the US Security Council of ignoring. She cited ballistic missile launches and procurement of missile technology as well as "proven arms smuggling".
"Iran's destructive and destabilizing role in the Middle East goes far beyond its illicit missile launches," Haley claimed.
"From Syria to Yemen and Iraq to Lebanon, Iran's [alleged] support for terrorist groups continued unabated. Iran's weapons, military advisers and arms smugglers stoke regional conflicts and make them harder to solve."
Embodiment of Successful Diplomacy
By contrast, the focus of UN political chief Jeffrey Feltman, EU Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida and ambassadors from Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany was on Iran's adherence to the nuclear agreement, though there were also expressions of concern about its missile tests and arms transfer. Feltman told the council that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "is deeply encouraged by the continued commitment by all participants to the agreement", calling it "the embodiment of successful multilateral diplomacy, political will and perseverance".
He noted that the International Atomic Energy Agency has issued seven reports, the latest in early June, documenting Iran's continued implementation of its nuclear-related commitments and said Guterres believes the sustained implementation of the deal "will guarantee that Iran's nuclear program remains exclusively peaceful".
The diplomatic achievement, Feltman said, "gives us all hope that even the most difficult issues among states can be addressed through dialogue, understanding and reciprocity."
Vale de Almeida, speaking on behalf of EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, who coordinates the nuclear deal, said, "The initial results are clear and speak for themselves: Iran's nuclear program has been rolled back and placed under tight inspections."
At a time when the world is faced "with the threat of unchecked nuclear capabilities"—a reference to the threat from North Korea—he said the Iran deal known as the JCPOA is "a pillar of the international non-proliferation agenda" that needs to be fully implemented.
In an apparent reference to the US debate over the deal, the EU ambassador stressed, "We would not be in a better position to address all the other non-nuclear matters [with Iran] without the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [the official title of the nuclear deal] in place."
Britain's deputy UN ambassador, Peter Wilson, called the Iran agreement "one of the most important diplomatic achievements in recent memory".
He said the United Kingdom encourages all countries and parties to the agreement—a message that appeared especially aimed at the US—"to uphold their commitments, including ensuring that the Iranian people gain further tangible benefits from sanctions relief".
But Wilson also said "some less positive issues" raised in Guterres' latest report need to be addressed. He cited Iran's Jan. 29 launch of a medium-range ballistic missile and referred to allegations about violations of a ban on conventional arms transfers.