Iran on Saturday hailed a UN Security Council vote rejecting a US bid to extend an arms embargo on the Islamic republic, saying its foe has “never been so isolated”.
“The United States failed in this conspiracy with humiliation,” said President Hassan Rouhani of Iran.
“This day will go down in the history of our Iran and in the history of fighting global arrogance.”
Only two of the Council’s 15 members voted in favour of the US resolution seeking to extend the embargo, highlighting the division between Washington and its European allies since President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear accord in 2018.
Washington’s European allies all abstained, and Iran mocked the Trump administration for winning the support of just one other country, the Dominican Republic.
“In the 75 years of United Nations history, America has never been so isolated,” foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi tweeted.
“Despite all the trips, pressure and the hawking, the United States could only mobilise a small country (to vote) with them.”
People on the streets of Tehran had mixed reactions.
“This is an American political game. One day they give a resolution to the Security Council, the next they say they have taken” Iranian fuel, said a worker at the city’s Grand Bazaar who gave his name only as Ahmadi.
A drugstore employee named Abdoli told AFP she was happy Iran won, but added that it “should interact with the United States and establish relations”.
The result increases the likelihood the US will try to unilaterally force a return of UN sanctions, which experts say threatens to plunge the Council into one of its worst-ever diplomatic crises.
– ‘Inexcusable’ –
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on a visit to Poland on Saturday, made it clear the United States would press on despite the defeat at the UN.
“It is unfortunate that the French and the United Kingdom… didn’t support what the Gulf states have demanded, what the Israelis have demanded… I regret that deeply,” Pompeo told reporters in Warsaw.
“The United States is determined to make sure that the Iranians and this regime, this theocratic regime does not have the capacity to inflict even more harm on the world.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced a “scandalous” UN vote.
“Iranian terrorism and aggression threaten the peace of the region and the entire world. Instead of opposing weapons sales, the Security Council is encouraging them,” he said.
“The State of Israel will continue to act with full force against whoever seeks to undermine its security,” added Netanyahu.
The embargo on conventional arms is due to expire on October 18 under the terms of a resolution that blessed the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.