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June 25, 2018 1:53 pm

US Diplomat Tells UN Security Council: Iran and Hezbollah at ‘Root of Violence’ in Middle East

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

US Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Jonathan Cohen addresses the Security Council, June 25, 2018. Photo: Screenshot.

The Iranian regime — which “seeks political, military, and territorial advantage through the spread of violence and human misery” — is one of the main causes of conflict in the Middle East, a top American diplomat said on Monday at a UN Security Council session in New York.

“In warzone after warzone, and terrorist act after terrorist act, we find Iran and Hezbollah at the root of violence in the Middle East,” US Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Jonathan Cohen said in remarks at the Russia-initiated meeting titled “Peace and Security: Comprehensive Review of the Situation in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Cohen emphasized Iran’s “repeated and blatant violations of Security Council Resolution 2231 and others.”

“The Security Council unanimously prohibited Iran from transferring weapons to other countries,” he pointed out. “And yet Iran is the source of weapons in conflicts across the region, from Yemen to Syria to Lebanon. The Security Council unanimously called on Hezbollah to disarm. But the leaders of Hezbollah talk openly about the continuing support they receive from Iran.”

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The US official also blamed Hamas for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Since seizing control of Gaza in 2007, Cohen noted, Hamas has “demonstrated far more interest in initiating violence than in caring for the Palestinian people.”

“The Middle East needs more leaders like Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat — leaders who are willing to step forward, acknowledge hard truths, and make compromises,” Cohen stated. “The Middle East needs more leaders like Jordan’s King Hussein, who in 1994 created a peace that survives to this day.”

Ahead of Monday’s Security Council meeting, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said, “There can be no doubt that the main source of all instability in the Middle East is Iran. From Syria to Yemen, the Iranian regime sows violence and bloodshed throughout the region and supports terror in almost every country.”

“The international community must understand that the first step for creating security and stability in our region is to uncompromisingly confront the Iranian regime,” Danon declared.

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