A letter sent this week by U.S. Ambassador Power to U.N. officials criticizes recent Iranian ballistic missile launches but stops short of describing the launches as a “violation” of the Security Council resolution that codified the nuclear deal with Iran, according to Reuters. The outlet's U.N. correspondent Louis Charbonneau wrote that the letter describes Iran’s missile tests as “inconsistent with” and “in defiance” of UNSC Resolution 2231, but pointedly does not label them violations. However, last December, when asked by Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) if Iranian missile launches after implementation of the nuclear deal would constitute a violation, Ambassador Stephen Mull, Lead Coordinator for Iran Nuclear Implementation, replied “it would violate that part of the U.N. Security Council resolution.”
Iran has launched five ballistic missiles since the nuclear deal was reached in July. Photos of the last round of missiles distributed by the Iranians showed the missiles inscribed in Hebrew with the phrase “Israel must be wiped off the Earth.” Efforts by American diplomats in New York to hold the Iranians accountable for the missile launches were stymied by Russia, a veto-holding member of the Security Council, which said that the language agreed to by American and European diplomats in UNSC Resolution 2231 was too weak for the Iranian launches to constitute a "violation." UNSC Resolution 2231 weakened the prohibition on ballistic missile work in the previously relevant UNSC Resolution 1929, which it replaced. While UNSC Resolution 1929 stated that Iran “shall not” engage in activity related to ballistic missiles, in Resolution 2231 Iran is “called upon” not to undertake in activity related to ballistic missiles.
At a Senate hearing last July, Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), challenged Secretary of State John Kerry on the concession. Secretary Kerry insisted that the language had not been changed. According to the Reuters report, however, “[d]iplomats say key powers agree that request is not legally binding and cannot be enforced under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter… But Western nations, which view the language as a ban, say there is a political obligation on Iran to comply.”
In the absence of multilateral options, lawmakers are moving to pass unilateral sanctions. These include the Iran Ballistic Missile Sanctions Act of 2016, introduced by Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), which aims to impose sanctions on sectors of the Iranian economy that directly or indirectly support Iran's ballistic missile program including the automotive, energy, construction and mining industries; as well as the Iran Terrorism and Human Rights Sanctions Act of 2016, introduced by Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), which would impose sanctions on entities in which the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or its affiliates have an ownership stake of at least 25%.
On Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei asserted that missiles, rather than negotiations, are key to Iran’s future. Khamenei stated, "Those who say the future is in negotiations, not in missiles, are either ignorant or traitors."
This is a generation that is the most educated, yet; most politically savvy and, thanks to the huge leaps in digital media technology, is the most connected and informed of the world around it. The ambitions of these youth are huge, but their opportunities are so limited; their earth has shrunk to the size of a single-file queue before an Israeli military checkpoint, where they are corralled on their way to school, to work and back home. And, like the Israelis who shot at anyone who dared to protest, Abbas imprisons those who attempted to do so.It is all nonsense meant for a Western audience (it is not published in the Ma’an Arabic edition), ignoring that the terror spree was actually sparked by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the PA claiming that Jews are attacking al-Aqsa Mosque, and not about “occupation.” It is the story that English-speaking Palestinians tell gullible Westerners.
It is a generation that simply cannot breathe.
The current Intifada is an expression of that dichotomy, of a generation that is so eager to break free, to define itself, to liberate its land, yet resisted by an Old Guard unremittingly holding on so tight to the few perks and dollars they receive in the form of allotments every month.
History must remain in constant motion, and the last six months have been the attempt of an entire generation to move the wheels of history forward, despite a hundred obstacles and a thousand checkpoints.
This might be the most difficult Intifada yet; for never before did Palestinians find themselves so leaderless, yet so ready to break free. The outcome of this tension, will not only define this whole generation, as it defined my generation of the 1987 Intifada, but it will define the future of Palestine altogether.
Baroud is frustrated that the current terror had not yet morphed into a much larger terror spree.
Ramzy Baroud has always explicitly supported violence, and Ma’an has given him a platform for his incitement many times over the years. But the European Union-funded newspaper places a disclaimer on the bottom saying that “The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect Ma’an News Agency’s editorial policy.”
So it is OK to publish an op-ed that advocates the murder of Jews, then – it’s freedom of speech!
Of course, Ma’an would never publish an op-ed calling for Abbas to negotiate with Israel without conditions. Some topics are too controversial, after all, for the EU-funded news site to tackle.