Tasnim – The director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) think tank in Rome, Italy, called a recent vote at the UN Security Council against the US bid to extend an arms ban on Iran as a “devastating defeat” for the Trump administration’s diplomacy.
“(The vote at the UNSC was) a pretty devastating defeat for the Trump administration’s diplomacy, and a largely expected one given how preposterous the initiative was, not least the fact that spearheading it is the party in breach of the JCPOA and thus of a UNSC resolution as well,” Nathalie Tocci told Tasnim.
Nathalie Tocci is Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali and Honorary Professor at the University of Tübingen. Her research interests include European foreign policy, conflict resolution, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Her major publications include: Framing the EU’s Global Strategy, Springer-Palgrave Macmillan, 2017 (author); The EU, Promoting Regional Integration, and Conflict Resolution, Springer-Palgrave Macmillan, 2017 (co-editor); Turkey and the European Union, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015 (co-author); Multilateralism in the 21st Century, Routledge, 2013 (co-editor), Turkey’s European Future: Behind the Scenes of America’s Influence on EU-Turkey Relations, New York University Press, 2011 (author); and The EU and Conflict Resolution, Routledge, 2007 (author). Nathalie is the 2008 winner of the Anna Lindh award for the study of European Foreign Policy.
Following is the full text of the interview.
Tasnim: The 15-member UN Security Council on Friday voted against a US-drafted resolution to extend an arms ban on Iran. What is your take on the UNSC’s decision?
Tocci: A pretty devastating defeat for the Trump administration’s diplomacy, and a largely expected one given how preposterous the initiative was, not least the fact that spearheading it is the party in breach of the JCPOA and thus of a UNSC resolution as well.
Tasnim: The US has become increasingly isolated over Iran at the Security Council since President Donald Trump pulled it out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers in May 2018. What do you think?
Tocci: Yes indeed it has been, and the effort to extend the arms embargo notwithstanding the terms of the JCPOA, and what will likely be the next step seeking to snap back sanctions by a party that has self-declaredly pulled out of the agreement is the last act of Trump’s bankrupt Iran policy which has made the region and the world a more dangerous place
Tasnim: Washington failed to receive nine votes in favor, removing the need for Russia and China to wield their vetoes which they had indicated they were prepared to do. Why do think the members did not allow the US to undermine the credibility of the UNSC?
Tocci: Precisely because of the value ascribed to the UNSC, the UN, multilateralism and international law more broadly. The fact that only the US (and the Dominican Republic) voted to extend the arms embargo signals not the fact that the rest are in favor of exporting arms to Iran but rather that they value the credibility of the UN.
Tasnim: Do you believe that the US should be thankful to the Dominican Republic?
Tocci: Well, in some respects it makes the US vote look almost lonelier than if it had been alone!