Bolton: Saudi Snub Is a Reminder of UN Security Council's Ineptitude

Monday, 28 Oct 2013 01:17 PM

By Joel Himelfarb

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Saudi Arabia’s stunning rejection of a U.N. Security Council seat is further proof the council is a broken institution where smaller nations have little influence and Russia and China block every attempt at action against rogue states like Iran and Syria, according to former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton.
It is just the latest sign, Bolton writes in The Weekly Standard, that the council is essentially a “systemic failure" and  is making itself largely irrelevant when it comes to advancing U.S. interests and those of its allies.

Riyadh "has just fired a diplomatic cruise missile into the U.N.’s engine room," according to Bolton. Since 2010, the Saudis have watched Moscow and Beijing block every effort to have the Security Council oppose the actions of President Bashar Assad’s Syrian regime, “while U.S. diplomacy has been inconsistent and ineffective.”

Bolton writes that weak U.S. policies toward Tehran along with Chinese and Russian obstructionism have "largely rendered the council a bystander to the Iranian nuclear problem."

And with President Barack Obama's push for a negotiated resolution of the Iranian nuclear weapons challenge — something Riyadh believes is destined to fail — the Saudis “have snapped,” according to Bolton.

American weakness and the perception that Iranian nuclear weapons are an existential threat have united Saudi Arabia and Israel, he says..

"The dangers are as great for Riyadh as for Jerusalem," Bolton writes. "That is why, if necessary, the Saudis [and most other Gulf Arab states] would privately welcome an Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear weapons program."

According to Bolton, Saudi Arabia is noting  the Security Council "is unable to resolve crucial Middle Eastern issues." In Bolton’s view the Saudis “have done us a favor with their unexpected frankness, and the Obama administration in particular would do well to remember their admonitions.”
Egypt, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain were among the prominent Arab States voicing support for Saudi Arabia’s decision to reject the Security Council seat, the Voice of America reported.

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