Russia vetoed the U.S.-backed Security Council resolution that called out Iran for its alleged violations of the Yemen arms embargo, and Nikki Haley is annoyed:
“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,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told reporters during a visit to Honduran capital Tegucigalpa.
The Trump administration’s Iran obsession is such that I’m sure it would “take action” against Iran on this issue no matter what the Security Council did or didn’t do. Haley’s comments confirm how fixated the U.S. is on the relatively minor question of alleged Iranian weapons supplies while it deliberately ignores the far greater and more numerous violations of international law committed by the Saudis and their allies with our government’s help. If Russia is wrong to “cover for Iran,” as Haley says, how much worse are the U.S., Britain, and France when they cover for and actively assist the Saudi-led coalition as it devastates and starves Yemen? If Iran deserves condemnation for merely failing to prevent weapons from getting into the hands of rebels in Yemen, what punishment do the states that arm the coalition deserve when they do so knowing that these weapons will be used to kill civilians?
While the major powers quarrel over this relatively minor issue, they are neglecting to do anything about the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. There is absolutely no desire on the part of the coalition’s Western patrons to condemn the coalition for its major part in creating that crisis, and there is certainly no political will in Western capitals to punish the coalition for their crimes. Western governments ignore the plight of Yemen’s people because they are complicit in causing the massive suffering there, and the other permanent members are simply indifferent. Yemen’s so-called “legitimate” government doesn’t speak for or represent the vast majority of Yemenis, and so there is no government defending the interests of the tens of millions of Yemenis that desperately need relief and an end to the war and blockade. Under the circumstances, the very least that Congress can do is force a halt to U.S. military assistance to the Saudis and their allies.