Kourosh Ahmadi in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations referred to the 2021 UN budget review meeting and the US failure to revive the Sanctions Committee against Iran and said: Lately, the United States had a very difficult day in the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly. It failed twice and both times it suffered a severe defeat.

Two American Defeats at the United Nations in One Day

He added: The first defeat was in trying to revive the 1737 Sanctions Committee and the 1929 Expert Working Group, which were created with the same numbers following two Security Council resolutions and finally were dissolved following the approval of Resolution 2231 and the end of multilateral sanctions against Iran. The US ambassador called for the revival of the Committee and the Working Group based on the incident that had not actually happened at the Security Council in September, that is to say activation of the “trigger mechanism”, which he said had been rejected by 13 out of the 15 members of the Security Council.

The international affairs analyst explained: The process for the US measure was that it called for the addition of two amendments to the draft UN budget resolution to provide the necessary funding for the revival of the Committee and the Working Group. Russia, Iran and China opposed the proposal and called for voting on the US proposal. According to the results of the voting, the US proposal was rejected by 110 votes against.

Noting that only 10 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Djibouti, El Salvador, Haiti, Micronesia, Morocco, Yemen, the Zionist regime and the United States, voted in favour of the proposal, he said that 32 countries abstained and 40 countries were absent during the voting.

Explaining the details of the second defeat at the UN budget review meeting, he said: While the UN budgets are usually approved by consensus and without voting, the US this time called for a voting on this year’s total budget and made excuses such as opposition to the budget for following up the resolutions of the 2001 Durban Summit, in which racist policies of Zionism had been condemned. The voting, which was 151 in favour of the budget and two against, the United States and Israel, and one abstention, Sudan, was to the detriment of the United States.

Votes of 6 Out of 15 Neighboring Countries against US Proposal

Referring to the unfavourable votes of some neighbouring countries, considering Iran’s services to those countries and also the “right of neighbourhood” which has surprised many observers, he added: We have 15 land and marine neighbours who in that voting which was about imposing sanctions against us, unfortunately only six neighbours, including the Republic of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan and Kazakhstan, voted against the US proposal; but the majority did not exercise the “desired act of neighbourhood”.

Ahmadi continued: Saudi Arabia and Bahrain supported the US proposal and in addition to Iraq, the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait also abstained. Afghanistan and Turkmenistan were absent in the voting. In the region, the abstentions of Egypt and Georgia and absence of Tajikistan and Jordan in the voting were significant.

Saying that this time the US pressure could be considered the reason for such voting, he added that the outgoing Trump administration could not easily put pressure on a country. The opposition of the traditional US allies and some Trump-friendly countries indicates that hands of his administration are tied up. Also, the wider opposition with Trump administration’s proposal can be considered a cause to please Biden’s team

Tensions in Relations with Some Neighbors

The international affairs analyst stressed: Unfortunately, there are tensions in our relationship with many of our neighbors — With Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain in a way and with Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Iraq in another way. Of course, our relations with some countries that opposed the US proposal are also problematic sometimes. The problem is that we have not had meaningful economic and social relations with them for a long time, given the sanctions and the resulting troubles. If we add some political problems to this type of economic relations, it seems that our neighbors feel that their hands are open before us.

Ahmadi continued: It seems that given the sanctions, we should focus more on increasing economic exchanges.

As for Iraq’s abstention vote at the said meeting, he said that despite Iran’s services to that country as well as some analyses regarding the country’s gradual distancing from Iran, it seems that while the dissatisfaction and protests expressed in a series of demonstrations in Iraq against corruption and mismanagement, the Iraqi government’s abstention vote is not justifiable and is not even accepted by the Iraqi people, who have witnessed Iran’s goodwill and serious cooperation with their country over the years, especially in the fight against terrorism and ISIS.

The international affairs analyst further remarked: Over the past few years, given the role of some foreign countries, such as the United States, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, in interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs, there is now talk on growing a kind of Iraqi nationalism and proximity of tribes in that country to each other. Perhaps a combination of these developments led to a government that is somewhat different from previous Iraqi governments and has a good relationship with the US administration.

He added: Despite the approval of a law in the Iraqi parliament to expel American troops from that country, some observers believe that the al-Kazemi government does not agree with the full implementation of that resolution. However, the internal situation in Iraq and the views of different political factions in that country will not allow him to dodge the full implementation of the resolution as he wishes.