The Russian veto in the United Nations Security Council on Monday to block a Western-backed resolution to condemn Iran for its alleged violations of international sanctions and its fueling of the conflict in Yemen was a landmark event.
This is the first time Russia has shot down a US-led move in the Security Council regarding a regional conflict in which it is not directly involved. Moscow did not block the Western moves over Iraq in 2003 or over Libya in 2011, although Russian interests were involved. Nor did Moscow block Kosovo’s admission to the UN as a sovereign state, piloted by the West, in 2008, although it was a bitter pill to swallow in every sense.
In Syria, of course, Russia has exercised its veto power repeatedly both in self-interest and in the interests of its ally. But in the Yemen conflict, Russia is neither a participant nor a protagonist, nor has it any legitimate reason to take sides.
Suffice to say the Russian veto on Monday falls into a category by itself as a manifestation of the Russian-American standoff for global influence. It therefore becomes a turning point in the post-Cold War era of big-power politics.
On its broadest plane, Russia has signaled that the US and its Western allies can no longer dominate the international system and Russia will oppose US hegemony as a matter of principle. This has serious implications for regional and international security.
Russia has signaled that the US and its Western allies can no longer dominate the international system and Russia will oppose US hegemony as a matter of principle. This has serious implications for regional and international security
Indeed, what Russia has done is shoot down an unprincipled Western attempt to isolate Iran from a geopolitical perspective. The West has adopted a cynical position over the conflict in Yemen. The US has been a virtual participant in the conflict by providing military assistance to the Saudi forces and identifying for them targets for their brutal air attacks on Yemen.
The administration of US President Donald Trump has not cared to provide any empirical evidence that the Houthis are dependent on Iran’s support. UN and other experts refuse to accept the US allegation that Iran supplied the Houthis with the missiles that targeted Saudi Arabia. The Barack Obama administration was frank enough to admit that while the Houthis could be “pro-Iran,” there was no alliance as such between the two.
In reality, Zaidi Shiite Muslims are more closely aligned to Sunni Islam than to the Shiism practiced in Iran.
The Russian stance took exception to the British-drafted text (supported by the US and France) containing a condemnation of Iran predicated on “unconfirmed conclusions and reports that should be double-checked and discussed by the sanctions committee,” as Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, put it.
Nebenzya noted that the Russian side offered “more than one compromising formulation” but those ideas had been dismissed. He said Russia “is fundamentally against a technical extension of sanctions committees’ export groups being politicized and used for solving not technical and expert tasks, but geopolitical ones.”
Significantly, the aborted British text not only contained condemnations against Tehran on illegal supplies of weapons to Houthis but also stated an intention to assume further measures in response to those violations. Conceivably, Moscow suspected the US intentions in the downstream, given the Trump administration’s hostile strategy toward Iran – scrapping the nuclear deal, imposing more sanctions, rolling back Iran’s missile capability and pushing back at Iran’s surge as a regional power.
In a clear rebuff to Washington, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday in Moscow that “it is necessary to fully implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [Iran nuclear deal]. If there is a desire to discuss some other issues concerning Iran in this format or in another format, this should be done with Iran’s voluntary participation and on the basis of consensus rather than through ultimatums.”
Interestingly, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir telephoned Lavrov on Monday just hours before the Security Council vote. According to the Russian readout, they “exchanged views on a number of issues on the bilateral and Middle East agendas, including in the context of the drafting of a new UN Security Council resolution on Yemen.”
Evidently, if the Trump administration had sought to leverage Saudi-Russian relations, it didn’t work. Moscow has in effect “de-hyphenated” its relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran. Russia has displayed its unique credentials to play an influential role in ending the conflict in Yemen and in facilitating a Saudi-Iranian rapprochement. Interestingly, Riyadh did not criticize Moscow’s veto on Monday and it was left to the US, Britain, France and Germany to issue a joint statement.
Of course, what emerges, in the final analysis, is the resilience of the Russian-Iranian alliance in Middle East politics. The Western thesis that an “assertive” Iran inevitably grates against Russian “expansionism” in the Middle East stands exposed as an overblown notion.
Ironically, Monday’s event will have a salutary effect on Russian-Iranian coordination in Syria, especially as the two powers prepare for a trilateral summit with Turkey in Istanbul in April.
The Russian-Chinese axis should serve as a counterbalance or alternative to western hegemony. The west have been at it for so long that sometimes they themselves does not follow the rules based order they espoused.
Once the trade war between China and the US starts, Russia / China will lift all sanctions on NK. 🙂
They didn’t grab land, they manufactured it out of nothing. The land was not there before.
"ime and again the World has witnessed Russia as a tool to subvert those who oppose it’s desire to become an equal to the United States"
Outside of US/NATO, Russia is regarded a as a positive influence in world affairs, with Putin and Lavrov highly respected. It’s just necessary to get out of the US/NATO propaganda bubble to see it. The Internet makes this easy today, which terrifies the Goebbels clones in the West.
"The brazen land grab of the South China Sea against international law "
Which land grab? There are historical disputes over some uninhabited islands. The US is trying to use this to mobilize ASEAN nations into an anti-China alliance, but those countries have little interest in disrupting the area to satisfy US geopolitical ambitions.
Fact is both country needs each other more than ever. This need is far greater and imporrtant than whatever intrigues you sow. You want them to break up to advance western interests.
The sooner Putin drops his patient "our Western partners" refrain, the better it would be for everyone. The Americans are contemptuous of anything that can be seen as "appeasement", whether by others or by themselves. Americans who agree to talk and compromise are seen as appeasers and cowards. Instead, Americans make demands and expect you to appease them. And when you do, you’re seen as weak and they rub your nose in. Russia should disabuse the Americans of such contemptuous notions.
Hmm the trolls are out early this morning….
Western powers particularly US have a biased approach, preach fake democracy, terrorise the weak countries. All the wars were/are started by them directly or indirectly whether in libya, Syria, iraq, yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, cuba, Venezuela, egypt, tunis, Palestine, and so many, killed millions of poor people, destroyed civilizations. They hav their own economic interest with imperial and hegemonic mindset along with dual policy. At one place they support one and at other its opposite.
Before you become an opinion writer for the New York times, work hard on your writing, especailly where grammar and reasoning fail to conjoin.
Quote from article: "……Russia has signaled that the US and its Western allies can no longer dominate the international system and Russia will oppose US hegemony as a matter of principle."
Righteous move. I wish China would do the same in the near future. In addition, I also wish Russia and China would push resolutions at UN on issues that cringes upon allies and minions of the west in the future too, now that the hegemon has all but openly declared the return of cold war. The hegemon needs a taste of its own medicine.
Kevin Maricon Mc. Cain, you are a rotten turd inside a rotten pie… Lavrov and Nebenzya are professional gentlemen, and you sound and smell like Boris Johnson or the French Micron… The US/NATO cabal and their jewish masters have their hands full of blood, and the future of a civilized world depends only on Russia and China. And if Iran had helped the Houthis, what would be wrong with it ? You piece of crap, may Hezbollah find you somewhere, and give your DNA an ecological treatment
Not sure how many of you have actually spent time with Saudi leadership, but I would be willing to bet the phone call they made before the Russian veto was their real attempt to keep the Russians out of the event. In the end, if this veto upset the future King of Saudi, then the odds of the Russians getting in on the slice of ARAMCO they were looking for just went down…..perhaps way down!
Francis Chow may be they are grabing the sea
Francis Chow I think it is safe to say that an island is land
If you continue to have this type of President who believed in racism USA is finished.
No worries Francis. In fact, China has long been trying to persuade North Korea to develop its economy and moderate its policies a bit. It doesn’t matter what North Korea does, they won’t ever be a genuide threat to the U.S. Unfortunately, North Korean leadership won’t even listen to the council of the CCP. In the end, the only ones who suffer are the poor people of North Korea.
The US should flood the world with cheap oil to deprive Russia of funds generated by uts oil industry.
Why are hegemons so irritated by rising powers? As the world stand today the US can do nothing about a developing bipolar world, which will save the world from US war mongaring and destruction.
I love this Iranian – Russia alliance
You mean cheap Snake Oil?
Oh let’s do it, Virgiino Abueva. Flood Trump’s Twitter account with cheap Snake Oil requests.
A dozen doses of heroin will make it happen faster, though.
Good info and analysis by Mr. Bhadrakumar.
I expect to see continued, deepening cooperation between Russia and Iran in the coming years, especially in steering the energy market away from the petrodollar.
America killed more people than those killed by the so called dictator combined.
It makes me wonder why you view Chinese and Russian action negatively. America and its cohorts have been messing around, overthrowing goverments and sponsoring terror all over the world. Enough is enough and we hope to see more Russian and Chinese influence the world over.
Now the world becomes a sandwich between two powers
I feel sympathetic to you and your ilk brother and not because the world is soon gonna be invaded by Alien Spaceships and Alien Characters as NASA has managed to brainwash and make you believe BUT thanks to your own undoings, bestowing your trust in your country to come to your rescue should either China or Russia attack you BUT Ignorantly forgetting at the same time that those VERY same Aliens you are so afraid of ENDINg your World may actually be either the very same Chinese or Russian you expect your countrys Trillion Dollar Military budget to protect you and America. I ghowever do not blame you because we ALL expect someone at some points in our miserable lives to come to our aids.
Ignorance and Self Denial are bad traits for a supposedly learned fellow. You unashamedly called and always do call Russia and any other country that opposes US Self imposed Ego and Self Importance as a tool of subverting what their seld declared Master wants and anyone who goes on the contrary is an agent of Evil Deeds? Wow this actually becomes interesting when you figure out who is saying all this, a Remotely controlled robot that expects tghe country to win every and any war it is involved in since he religiously pays ghis taxes without demanding for accountability and since he is a good citizen then country must win at all cost because to him only his people and country spends in military.
Again your country claims to be after the World peace and stability BUT let us start from there. Your country boasts of its military presence in about hundred countries, why do you need army in foreig in countries? Your country today has a military Base in Syria, a country you have worked so hard to wreck and you are there without the UN blessings but still claim to be custodians of Worlds peace, but which world is it?
Aaron Jensen i think if they had some economic development they would overthrow the monarchy.
Aaron Jensen tightening sanctions only strengthens the monarchy’s hands.
See the list of the worlds top arms sellers … ok have you google it? Now you know why world peace is bad for bussiness, and it always will be.
The world stability can only be realized by leaders like Putin
Aaron Jensen In the end, the only ones who suffer are the poor people of any country.
Bernard Frane and killed more Americans too. Counting down to the next school shooting.
What Gorbachev did to USSR is what Trump will do to US
How the world is so indifferent to the sufferings in yeman is unbelivable.
all talks are about geopolitics, what about the people in Yemen?
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