Tags: Iran | Middle East | gcc | jcpoa | pompeo | uae

This Week in the Mideast for the US: Victory, Defeat

pompeo and mohamed bin zayed al nahyan

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) meets with Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in Abu Dhabi.  (Jacquelyn Martin /AFP via Getty Images)

By Friday, 21 August 2020 06:43 AM Current | Bio | Archive

This past week we have witnessed, simultaneously, a historic diplomatic victory and an embarrassing diplomatic defeat in the Mideast.

The "Abraham Accord" between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, named after the father of three monotheistic religions founded in the Mideast — Christianity, Islam and Judaism — was a significant step towards lasting regional stability.

On the other hand, the United States suffered an embarrassing defeat in United Nations Security Council with the defeat of its resolution designed to extend an existing Iranian arms embargo beyond October.

The historic Abraham Accord was a courageous act by the UAE Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Zayed.

It normalizes diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel.

Through this monumental achievement, supported by President Donald Trump, UAE became the first Arab nation in nearly 26 years to open diplomatic relations with Israel.

The UAE is now one of only three Arab countries with full diplomatic relations with Israel.

The first was Egypt in 1979, followed by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1994.

The UAE is also the first of the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) nations to engage in such an agreement, making the UAE the first Arab nation openly to recognize Israel as a sovereign state.

Based on a decade of experience in the Mideast, I predict that this historic move by UAE will soon be followed by other GCC members, all of whom have a vested interest in coming together to face their common adversary in the region — Iran.

On its own and in terms of future hope, the UAE-Israel Abraham Accord is a great victory for all parties involved, including the United States, to celebrate as two nations of the Mideast take a major step together towards peace and prosperity in the region.

On the other hand, the United Nations Security Council resolution proposed by the United States, which would have extended the arms embargo on Iran that will expire in October, was an avoidable diplomatic embarrassment for the United States and its allies.

Of the 15 nations that could have voted to extend the Iran arms embargo, only four voted, with the U.S. and Dominican Republic voting to extend, Russia and China voting against, and 11 countries abstaining.

In a statement released last Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that, the United Nations Security Council "rejected a reasonable resolution to extend the 13-year old arms embargo on Iran and paved the way for the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism to buy and sell conventional weapons without specific U.N. restrictions in place for the first time in over a decade. The Security Council’s failure to act decisively in defense of international peace and security is inexcusable."

It was widely expected that Russia and China would either vote against the ban extension, or use their respective veto powers to ensure Iran’s embargo was not extended beyond October.

China recently signed a U.S. $400 billion/25 year deal with Iran to support infrastructure and other economic growth. This is in direct violation of U.S. Treasury Department sanctions on Iran, and certainly a message from Chinese Communist leaders that they will not diplomatically support the U.S., with whom they are in tense economic and diplomatic stalemates.

This failed U.N. effort was led by our ambassador to the U.N., Kelly Craft, and was intended to prevent Iran’s access to fighter jets and other arms that could be used to bolster Iran’s proxy militias in the Mideast, and otherwise to destabilize the region.

Many feel that Ambassador Craft failed to gather the necessary support from European nations prior to the vote, and that she should have delayed the vote until a unified front could support the Iran arms ban extension. Regardless of fault, this undoubtedly was a major defeat for the U.S. and a dramatic threat to peace and stabilization to the Mideast region.

Even after the 2018 U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) — we retain the right to participate in a "snapback" based on any violations of the JCPoA by Iran. According to foreignpolicy.com, if the U.S. resolution should fail, which it did Friday, the United States "would trigger the 'snapback' mechanism embedded within the [JCPoA]. The snapback mechanism is intended to automatically restore the U.N. sanctions on Iran that existed prior to 2015 in case of violations."

The U.S. can, of course, use its own sanction laws to deter arms sales to Iran. The one thing to keep in mind as we explore options in the wake of last Friday’s diplomatic defeat in the U.N. is that Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the region, and certainly poses the greatest kinetic threat to the U.S. and our allies.

Cory Mills is a highly decorated combat veteran with experience in multiple theaters of operation. He is Founder and CEO of PACEM Solutions International and PACEM Defense LLC, which acquired AMTEC Less Lethal Systems, Inc., in 2018. For most of his adult life, Cory Mills has honorably served U.S. military, diplomatic, and USAID missions. After Mr. Mills was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, he served as a subcontractor for the U.S. State Department from 2005-2010. During this time, he worked with thousands of diplomatic missions in the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and the U.S. Consul in Erbil. In 2016, the Republic of Iraq credited PACEM with assisting operations which led to the raising of Iraq’s flag at the Fallujah Governor’s Office for the first time in nearly three years. Prior to this, ISIS was flying the flag of the Caliph in Fallujah. Read Cory Mill's Reports — More Here.

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The United States suffered an embarrassing defeat in United Nations Security Council with the defeat of its resolution designed to extend an existing Iranian arms embargo beyond October. The U.S. can, of course, use its own sanction laws to deter arms sales to Iran.
gcc, jcpoa, pompeo, uae
Friday, 21 August 2020 06:43 AM
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