Shocking End to US Dominance in the Mideast
US Humiliated in 13-2 UN Vote on Iran
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo pressed US allied in the UN to extend an arms embargo against Iran.
The US failed 13-2 or more accurately 2-2-11 (Russia and China voting against) with 11 abstentions.
Germany, France, the United Kingdom and eight others abstained. Only the Dominican Republic, supported the US resolution in a in a Humiliating UN Vote.
Let us underline this. The most powerful countries in the world and the current representatives of the main global blocs just sided with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei against Donald J. Trump.
Under the terms of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the weapons ban on Iran will expire in mid-October.
The Trump administration wants to extend the embargo despite having exited the deal. Pompeo even watered down the US demands to no avail.
Cannot Have Your Cake and Eat it Too
Trump threatens to unilaterally impose an embargo arguing that the US has the legal authority to re-impose sanctions on Iran under UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
Trump unilaterally withdrew from that treaty. Now it wants to enforce part of it.
The rest of the UN Security Council thinks Pompeo’s idea is crazy, that he can trigger the snap back provision even though the US pulled out of the treaty, telling CNN, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
Even Iran Surprised
Note that even Iran was Surprised by the Humiliation.
President Hassan Rouhani said, according to US News and World Report, “I don’t remember the United States preparing a resolution for months to strike a blow at the Islamic Republic of Iran, and it garners only one vote. But the great success was that the United States was defeated in this conspiracy with humiliation.”
Poking Trump in the Eye
The spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry, Sayyid Abbas Mousavi, said on Twitter Saturday that the US regime must take a lesson from its absolute defeats at the UN security council. Otherwise it will, he said, continue to be isolated, even more than it is today.
Mousavi, by using the term “regime” to describe the US government, was tweaking the Trump administration, which routinely refers to the Iranian government as a “regime,” which has connotations of authoritarianism and illegitimacy.
China is the Big Winner
The EU is weak and European corporations are unlikely to risk the wrath of Trump by making deals with Iran. China is another matter.
China in particular appears determined to risk US sanctions in order to make a huge investment in the Iranian economy. The US Treasury Department can only sanction firms that trade in dollars with Iran or that also trade with the US. China intends its projects in Iran to be funded with soft-money currencies it has accumulated through its vast global trade. In accepting those African and other currencies, Iran will suffer a 30% loss, but it will escape the American net.
What About the New UAE Deal
Trump is bragging about a new Israel-UAE Peace Deal even though it leaves Palestinians in the cold according to a Bloomberg Op-Ed.
The Palestinians were disbelieving. They understood the agreement not as a friendly diplomatic move to ward off an Israeli land grab, but as, in the words of Palestinian authority president Mahmoud Abbas, “a stab in the back.” Abbas is right.
The UAE has secretly been doing business with Israel for years. Such clandestine dealings are considered par for the course in the region. But by going public with a peace treaty, the UAE did something revolutionary — it proclaimed its independence from the Palestinian cause. The country is willing, even happy, to be of help to the Palestinians, but it is no longer committed to Ramallah’s side or its demands from Israel.
As par for the course, Trump takes credit for something in which he played little if any part.
Trump's Six-Point Legacy
- Bully Allies
- Belittle Friends
- Break Good Deals
- Invoke Disastrous Trade and Sanction Policies
- Amplify Racial Hatred
- Drive Countries Into Deals With China
In regard to points 4 and 6, Trump's trade and sanction policies have been a disaster on every front.
All of our allies thought the nuclear accord deal with Iran was working, every one of them.
Another Trumpian Scheme Bites the Dust
By unilaterally breaking the nuclear treaty with Iran, Trump undid the single best accomplishment in 8 years of an Obama presidency.
It could have been and should have been US corporations making infrastructure deals in Iran. Instead it will be China.
As with NAFTA, Trump said he cold get a better deal. He didn't. Another Trumpian scheme backfired miserably.
Winning Comes to An End
The US cannot take much more of Trump's self-proclaimed "winning". Fortunately, such "winning" comes to an abrupt end in November.
One of Biden's first moves ought to be to revive the nuclear deal with Iran hoping to rebuild a good setup that Trump destroyed.
Even so, the Mideast picture will never be the same.
The Bright Side
US unilateral dominance in the Mideast and the US go-it-alone sanction policy have both hit the end of the line.
That's a good thing even though the rise of Chinese influence (thanks to Trump) isn't.