Refocus from Palestinian Conflict—US Says Iran ‘Chief Culprit’ in Middle East Turmoil

U.S. Ambassador the U.N. Nikki Haley. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Mission to the UN

Israeli activities get a disproportionate amount of attention at the United Nations, being called out for crimes they did not commit even as the brutality of ISIS, Syria’s war crimes, and the ever-present threat of Iran cloud the region. The United States, currently the President of the U.N.’s powerful Security Council, on Thursday said in a quarterly meeting on the Middle East that the real problem isn’t Israel—it’s the Islamic Republic.

“If we are speaking honestly about conflict in the Middle East, we need to start with the chief culprit: Iran and its partner militia, Hezbollah,” said U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley in comments published by her office. “…The incredibly destructive nature of Iranian and Hezbollah activities throughout the Middle East demands much more of our attention. It should become this Council’s priority in the region.”

In her remarks at the meeting, Haley said that a negotiation solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is important. Yet that pales when considering the breadth of Iran and Hezbollah’s hostile influence.

To make her point, Haley listed out the wide range of those misdeeds, from committing terror attacks “for decades”, to training “deadly militias” in Iraq, to providing weapons to Houthi fighters in Yemen’s conflict, to fighting for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in that nation’s civil war.

In Syria alone, Haley listed out multiple negative impacts to the region caused by Iran and Hezbollah. “They prop up Bashar al-Assad’s brutality, fighting alongside his forces, adding to the killing of thousands of civilians and the misery of millions of refugees,” said the American U.N. representative.

And if all that wasn’t bad enough, that long list of violence and range of territory shows that things are getting worse. But on Thursday, Haley made it clear that U.S. wasn’t going to accept that.

“Iran and Hezbollah conspire together to destabilize the Middle East, and their actions are expanding,” said Haley. “….While this Council has paid too little attention to this growing menace, the United States will not. We are going to speak up about Iran and Hezbollah, and we are going to act against their lawlessness.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, April 20, 2017)

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