U.S. Accuses Allies of Helping Terrorists, Iran Lauds American 'Isolation'

America's ambassador to the United Nations has hit out at the U.S.' allies after they refused to back Washington, D.C.'s efforts to reimpose international sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal.

The defeat is the second in quick succession, after the UN Security Council refused an American request to extend an arms embargo on Iran that expires in October. Tehran has celebrated both failures as evidence that President Donald Trump's unilateralism has left the U.S. isolated on the world stage.

After its arms embargo defeat, the U.S. threatened to use a "snapback" mechanism in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—i.e. the Iran nuclear deal—to automatically reimpose sanctions on Iran. But the other signatories to the deal said the U.S. had no right to do so, given Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018.

The Security Council said Tuesday that 13 of its 15 member countries considered the U.S. proposal illegal. Only the Dominican Republic backed the U.S. snapback. Indonesia currently holds the rotating presidency, and its representative said the Council was "not in a position to take further action" on the U.S. request.

Ambassador Kelly Craft issued a scathing appraisal of the U.S. defeat. "The Trump administration has no fear in standing in limited company on this matter, in light of the unmistakable truth guiding our actions," Craft said in a statement.

"I only regret that other members of this Council have lost their way and now find themselves standing in the company of terrorists."

Craft said that Russia and China "revel in this Council's dysfunction and failure," and criticized European allies who she said have "expressed privately their concerns about lifting sanctions on Iran but have taken no actions to address that concern."

The Trump administration has warned that the arms embargo lapse will allow Tehran to export weapons across the region, including to the proxy forces it uses to destabilize its rivals in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. Earlier this month, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said Iran would begin exporting weapons as soon as sanctions were lifted.

Iran's permanent mission to the UN in New York released a statement after Tuesday's vote saying the American defeat "showed once more the U.S. isolation on the JCPOA." It added, "Iran trusts that the Council members will continue preventing that country from undermining the UN, including the Security Council."

The statement then blamed the U.S. and its Israeli allies "for almost all problems in the Middle East." The mission accused Washington, D.C. of "meddling, destabilizing policies and destructive practices...which cannot be covered up by no amount of smear campaign."

Kelly Craft, US, Iran, sanctions, UN, snapback
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft is pictured following a meeting with members of the UN Security Council at UN headquarters in New York, August 20, 2020. MIKE SEGAR/POOL/AFP via Getty Images/Getty