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Russia nixes UN resolution citing Iran for Yemen arms

WASHINGTON (AA) - Russia vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution Monday that would have censured Iran for failing to prevent its arms from reaching Yemen in violation of a UN-imposed arms embargo, drawing a stern rebuke from the U.S. 

In all, 11 nations voted in support of the U.K.-sponsored resolution, with China and Kazakhstan abstaining. Only Bolivia voted against it before Russia used its veto to stop it from moving forward. An earlier draft condemning Iran was watered down after Moscow sought revisions.  

“Russia has repeatedly stopped the Security Council from acting against the barbaric Assad regime in Syria. Today, Russia protected the terrorist-sponsoring regime in Iran," the U.S.'s UN envoy, Nikki Haley, said in a statement. 

"If Russia is going to use its veto to block action against Iran’s dangerous and destabilizing conduct, then the United States and our partners will need to take actions against Iran that the Russians cannot block," she said in an ominous warning. 

For its part, Russia insisted it could not consent to a draft resolution that it said "will inevitably escalate regional tensions".

"The situation in Yemen is far more complicated than frequently we are made to believe," said Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia. "The wording in the British draft is dangerous and destabilizing."

Washington has charged Iran with supplying Yemen's Houthi rebels with arms including surface-to-surface missiles that have been used against countries supporting a Saudi-backed offensive against the militants. 

The Security Council's Panel of Experts earlier determined that Iranian-origin weapons had been introduced into Yemen after the UN-embargo went into effect and that Tehran has failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the transfer of ballistic missiles, other military equipment and unmanned aerial vehicles to the country.  

Russia also proposed a rival resolution that did not mention Iran by name but extended the Yemen arms embargo. That measure was adopted unanimously. 


*Betul Yuruk contributed to this report from the United Nations