Ambassador Kelly Craft
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
August 25, 2020
On August 20, the United States took the only reasonable and responsible action left to us, after the majority of this body surrendered to unthinkable inaction, abandoned the people of Iran and the Middle East, and invited an arms race that regional nations have begged to avoid.
For months and months, we told the Council that President Trump would never allow the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism to freely buy and sell planes, tanks, missiles, and other kinds of conventional weapons. The countries of the Middle East most familiar with Iran’s terror pressed us to stay true to our commitment.
We reminded members of our right under Resolution 2231 to trigger snapback, and our firm intent to do so in the absence of courage and moral clarity by the Council. It can be no surprise that we have arrived here today.
As Secretary Pompeo stated from UN grounds last week with absolute clarity: “America won’t join in this failure of leadership. America will not appease. America will lead. The leadership begins with recognizing the Islamic Republic of Iran for what it truly is: a theocratic, revolutionary, brutish regime that will not voluntarily seek peace or make life better for the Iranian people.”
Iran has defied this Council’s arms embargo, fomenting conflict and murder throughout the world as it supplies weapons to proxy militias and terrorist groups. History is replete of tragedies of appeasing regimes such as this one, that for decades have kept its own people under its thumb.
However, there can be no mistaking where we are today. Put simply: It is Russia and China that revel in this Council’s dysfunction and failure.
It is Iran that celebrates its newfound leverage over the free nations of the world.
It is Hizballah that welcomes the possibility of new, more powerful weapons to fuel their campaign of terror.
It is the Maduro regime that has already expressed glee at the prospect of additional Iranian support.
It is the Houthi rebels who see new life to their already brutal assaults on the Yemeni people.
It is our European colleagues on this Council that have expressed privately their concerns about lifting sanctions on Iran but have taken no actions to address that concern.
Let me just make it really, really clear: The Trump Administration has no fear in standing in limited company on this matter, in light of the unmistakable truth guiding our actions. I only regret that other members of this Council have lost their way and now find themselves standing in the company of terrorists.