By Arab News
By James Reinl
Russia vetoed a UN draft resolution on Monday that would have pressured Iran over its failure to block supplies of missiles to Yemen’s Houthi militias.
The British-drafted text won 11 favorable votes at the 15-member Security Council but was blocked by Russia’s veto.
China and Kazakhstan abstained, while Bolivia also voted against the measure.
Jonathan Allen, deputy UK envoy to the UN, earlier called on Russia to support the British draft that “focuses on the crucial question of ballistic missiles in the light of the outrageous attacks and attempted attacks by the Houthis on civilians in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”
The resolution sought to renew its targeted sanctions on Yemen. Russia has proposed a rival resolution that would simply extend the sanctions for a year without mentioning Iran.
Both draft resolutions sought to renew the UN arms embargo to Houthi leaders and “those acting on their behalf or at their direction.” The UN can also blacklist entities and individuals for undermining peace and stability in Yemen, or for blocking aid access.
Moscow has signaled it may veto the British draft by raising concerns over whether the UN had enough evidence on Tehran supplying Houthis with drone and missile technology.
The UK envoy referred to a 329-page UN experts’ report published this month, which said Iran was in “non-compliance” with an arms embargo.
“Russia doesn’t like the outcome of certain expert panel reports, but just because it doesn’t like the messages it doesn’t mean we ignore what they say,” Allen said.
Britain drafted its resolution in consultation with the US and France. An original version censured Iran for breaking the arms embargo on Houthi leaders and included a council pledge to take action over the breach.
The latest British draft dropped the condemnation and instead expressed concern that UN experts found Iran had violated the arms embargo by failing to stop drones and missiles from reaching the Houthis.