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IPFS News Link • Treason and Sedition

Trump: Cherry-Picking International Law


In drafting a resolution seeking to condemn Iran for its role in Yemen's ongoing civil war, the United States—along with its UN Security Council allies Britain and France—seems to have cherry-picked information from a UN report that condemned all actors in that war for violations of international law. Rather than draft a resolution reflecting the broad range of crimes that have been committed in Yemen, the Trump administration chose to selectively pick out only those crimes that could be attributed to Iran while ignoring arguably more heinous crimes attributable to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners, including the internationally recognized government of Yemen.

The draft U.S.-British-French resolution—which Russia seems likely to veto if it comes to a vote in its current form—would condemn Iran for failing to prevent its weapons, and in particular its ballistic missile parts, from getting into Yemen. Those weapons have been used by the Houthi rebels who now control much of northern Yemen. In a report to the Security Council made in late January, UN investigators found that Iranian military equipment has gotten to the Houthis in violation of a UN-imposed arms embargo:

The Panel has identified missile remnants, related military equipment and military unmanned aerial vehicles that are of Iranian origin and were brought into Yemen after the imposition of the targeted arms embargo. As a result, the Panel finds that the Islamic Republic of Iran is in non-compliance with paragraph 14 of resolution 2216 (2015) in that it failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of Borkan-2H short-range ballistic missiles, field storage tanks for liquid bipropellant oxidizer for missiles and Ababil-T (Qasef-1) unmanned aerial vehicles to the then Houthi-Saleh alliance.

The report made no claims as to whether Iran supplied this equipment directly, but an Iranian failure to prevent the Houthis from acquiring it is enough to violate the embargo. The draft resolution would authorize the Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran for "any activity related to the use of ballistic missiles in Yemen." It undoubtedly reflects Donald Trump's desire for the international community to "get tough" with Iran, a desire also reflected in his demands that European allies sanction Iran over its missile development program lest the United States withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA).

However, in its zeal to punish Iran, the United States has clearly employed a double standard to the Yemen conflict. Despite the resolution's tight focus on alleged Iranian misdeeds, the Security Council report on which it is based tells a much different story—one in which every actor in Yemen has been guilty of war crimes (emphasis mine):

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