US and Israeli delegates came under fire from the Russian representative at the UN for their fixation with Iran during Wednesday’s Security Council meeting.
The session’s agenda called for a discussion on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question with representatives from 15 member countries drawing attention to the severity of the humanitarian crisis and continuing human rights abuses in the Gaza while also condemning illegal Israeli settlement construction.
However US Ambassador Nikki Haley and Israeli representative Danny Danon targeted Iran, accusing Tehran of being a “threat to peace and security”. Danon alleged that Iran was financing terror and “sought to wipe Israel off the map by any means necessary”. Haley took aim at the nuclear deal with Iran, which the US President Donald Trump decertified last week, accusing Iran of not holding up to its end of the bargain. The other parties to the deal; UK, France, Russia, China and Germany, refute the US allegation.
The Russian delegate, Vassily Nebenzia, expressed dismay over the US and Israeli representatives for obsessing over the nuclear agreement with Iran and evading the main agenda in the meeting which was to discuss the situation in Palestine.
“It was sad,” rebuked Nbenzia, “that those speakers did not discuss how they themselves were implementing that agreement nor did they mention the Palestinian Question.”
“Resolving the Palestinian situation is fundamental to normalising the situation in the Middle East,” Nbenzia continued. “Russia is openly concerned by the fact the Israeli and US delegations didn’t even utter the word Palestine.”
Delegates from various countries protested against the 11-year-old siege on Gaza saying that it was in violation of UN resolutions, and urged Israel to immediately open the border crossings to the Strip to allow delivery of humanitarian aid. Representatives also condemned Israeli settlement activities as a violation of international law, adding that such expansion would not engender an atmosphere conducive to peace.
The Permanent Observer of the Holy See and the representative of the European Union delegation spoke as well, as did the representative of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.