John Bolton, whose white hair betrays the wisdom that a national security adviser to President Donald Trump should bring to his job, has threatened United States sanctions against judges of the International Criminal Court for adjudicating alleged war crimes committed by American forces in Afghanistan. However, frantic threats and hysterical big-power strutting does not substitute … Read more Sanctions in the Time of Temper Tantrums
With the recent reimposition of its sanctions against Iran, the United States is clearly violating its obligations under the United Nations resolution that endorsed the Iran nuclear agreement. While the Security Council has taken note and Iran has formally responded, urging the UN “to keep the United States accountable,” no party to the agreement has … Read more The US and Iran: Playing With Fire
If President Joseph Kabila’s continued violations of his country’s constitutional term limits were not enough of a warning, the first paragraph of the latest report by United Nations experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo sets the record straight, saying: “Armed actors continuously used the delay in the electoral process to promote acts of … Read more The Congo: Tiptoeing Toward a New War?
Could the Kim-Trump meeting in Singapore on Tuesday displace the United Nations Security Council’s mandate to regulate the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as the United States succeeded in doing when it withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal? Chances of abolishing the UN sanctions regime on North Korea without the Council having the last … Read more The Perils of Kim-Trump Diplomacy on the UN Security Council
Mike Pompeo, in his first speech as Donald Trump’s new secretary of state, threatened United States’ allies: “You should know that we will hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account.” Pompeo, speaking at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., on May 21, is actually pitting the US against the United Nations, specifically … Read more The Sanctions War Heats Up: US vs. the World
What can the five remaining signatories to the Iran nuclear deal do now that the Trump administration has trampled on Security Council Resolution 2231 and its 13 binding decisions, adopted under Article 41 of the United Nations Charter? Sooner or later, the other 14 members of the Security Council, especially Britain, China, France and Russia, … Read more Is This the End of the UN Security Council?
The world will soon know the future of the Iran nuclear deal, when President Trump plans to announce his intentions on May 8 at 2 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, from the White House. The decision follows intense jostling among high-powered countries, current and former government officials and seasoned disarmament people in the last several months … Read more So Who Is Lying: Iran, Israel or Trump?
Two important global events that are about to happen may sound alluring to some Americans: first, the United States government may jettison or significantly alter the nuclear deal with Iran; and Chairman Kim Jong Un of North Korea will begin to negotiate terms for long-overdue peace with South Korean President Moon Jae In, when they … Read more As Moon Meets Kim, Who Will Eventually Claim Credit for a Korean Peace Deal?
Preventing the United States from collapsing the Iran nuclear deal may be impossible, but European and other global leaders are still ensuring that the Trump team knows the political costs that it will incur if it sticks to that goal. European opponents of Donald Trump’s Iran manipulations, far from floppy handwringers, are motivated by genuine … Read more Fixing Iran the European Way, Using Sanctions for Peace
While the Trump administration stocks up on Iran hawks like John Bolton, the new national security adviser, and Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, an impending collapse of the Iran nuclear deal could rapidly turn into a new global reality: further isolation of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel as the rest of the … Read more Europe to Trump: We Are Not Giving Up on the Iran Nuclear Deal
President Donald Trump’s mid-May deadline for renegotiating the terms of the nuclear arms deal with Iran is rapidly approaching. So far, his words and actions seem to isolate the United States from its European and Asian allies while straining his credibility as a negotiator, which he needs for the scheduled meeting, also in May, with … Read more Trump’s Opposition to the Iran Nuclear Deal: A Zero-Sum Game?
Criticisms over a lack of fairness of United Nations sanctions and inconsistencies in their application are frequent and routine — and not without justification. For decades, human-rights experts have pointed to the paradox that unreliable practices, in the words of one expert, render “the UN sanctions system noncompliant with the UN’s human rights standards.” This … Read more Playing Fair With Sanctions: Is There a Method to the Madness?
An open, informal meeting scheduled for Feb. 12 at the United Nations is meant to unite Security Council members in their efforts to rein in the recalcitrant Congolese president, Joseph Kabila, to allow the long-overdue presidential elections to go ahead this year. It is feared that Kabila’s refusal to carry out the vote, slated for … Read more The Elephant in the Room: Congo’s Vicious, Illegal Fighters
Citing an unpublished report of the United Nations panel of experts on Yemen, The New York Times said recently that Iran violated the Yemen arms embargo, according to UN experts. The same day, The Washington Post used essentially the same set of reported facts under a more judicious headline that said, in part, “Iran weapons to Yemen … Read more Iran Missiles to Yemen: Is There Room for Circumstantial Evidence in UN Sanctions?
With the Security Council’s unanimous vote to expand United Nations sanctions on North Korea on Dec. 22, President Trump appeared to add another high point to a victorious final week of 2017 based on his tax reform in United States Congress. But appearances deceive, as delegations’ statements in the Council demonstrated before adopting Resolution 2397 … Read more The US and UN Sanctions: Outwitted, Outlasted, Outplayed?
Why are the United States Department of Defense and the US ambassador to the United Nations acting as spokespeople for Saudi Arabia’s atrocious war against the religious Yemeni-Houthi minority? And why is Ambassador Nikki Haley throwing herself in front of the international community with laughable evidence to claim, among other statements: “The Iranian regime cannot … Read more Loose Missiles, Loose Talk: Nikki Haley’s Claims of Iran’s ‘Lawless Behavior’
If an investment, shareholding, credit or other financing tool benefits an enterprise or an individual that is somehow violating a United Nations arms embargo or is committing atrocities, terrorist acts or proliferating weapons of mass destructions, is such an involvement contravening sanctions regimes and therefore breaking international law? Checking past and current UN Security Council … Read more How Companies and Their Investors Pay Lip Service to UN Sanctions