Russian President Vladimir Putin. © Sputnik

The intense media campaign around Eastern Ghouta, where Americans are seeking to bolster terrorists to invest in the suburbs of the Syrian capital, has almost eclipsed a major event: the Russian veto at the UN Security Council on Monday to block a Franco-Anglo-Saxon resolution condemning Iran. His motive? The alleged violation of the sanctions that the West has imposed since 2015 on the Yemeni people, victim of both Saudi aggression and criminal complicity of Western arms merchants.

 

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia at a meeting of the Security Council on 22 February 2018 in New York. © AFP

The Russian veto has been unprecedented: for the first time in the history of international law, Russia has rejected an American-led initiative in the Security Council over a regional conflict in which it is not a party. Russian indifference is well remembered in 2003 when the United States voted for its military action against Iraq or apathy in 2011 when NATO was preparing its plan to invade Libya. In both cases, however, Russian interests were involved, but Moscow chose to abstain. At the time, the Russians might have something to say, but they were not strong enough.

According to experts, the Russian veto last Monday falls into a category alone, which refers to “the Russian-American impasse in global influence.” This is a real turning point in the post-cold-war era, which is becoming increasingly important.

The text that Britain had proposed against Iran was most childish: London, Paris and Washington, which occupy the pack of countries selling arms to the regime of Riyadh, had not even bothered to provide the slightest empirical evidence of “Iranian support” to the Houthis who are suffering as a majority of Yemenis, a total maritime, land and air blockade for almost three years. So there was no question for Russia to let it go.

Moscow’s historical veto has spread a message at many levels

The United States and its Western allies can no longer dominate the international system, since Russia is now determined to oppose in principle American hegemony. Indeed, Putin’s Russia saw very well what Trump’s America was all about, pushing London and Paris to play their game in the Security Council. The anti-Iranian resolution targeted the Houthis less for their supposed alliance with Iran than Iran itself. After almost withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, the US was counting on this vote to condemn Iran’s conventional missiles.

Moscow’s move thwarted an unscrupulous attempt by the West to isolate Iran in geopolitical terms, as the Americans want. For the rest, the Western position on the Yemeni conflict is extremely cynical. The United States, Britain and France are virtually involved in the conflict by providing military assistance to the Saudi forces and identifying targets for their brutal air attacks and accusing Iran of interference.

What emerges from this analysis is also the resilience of the Russian-Iranian alliance in Middle Eastern politics. The Western thesis that a “rising power” Iran will oppose Russia in the Middle East does not hold up. Last Monday, Russia shared its unique qualities as an arbiter not only in the end of the conflict in Yemen, but also in what could be described as the “end of unilateralism”. In a gesture of defiance of a rare violence, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday in Moscow that “it is necessary to fully implement the Joint Global Action Plan [the Iranian Nuclear Agreement]. If there is a willingness to discuss other issues concerning Iran in this format or in another format, this should be done with the voluntary participation of Iran and on the basis of consensus rather than through ultimatums. ”

If the France of Mr. Macron who sends this Sunday his head of diplomacy in Iran believes can, in the footsteps of Washington, replicate the scenario to the Libyan in Iran, it is mistaken heavily: it is no longer enough to vote to the Security Council to dispossess sovereign States of their sovereignty.

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