France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States issued a joint statement about Iran’s violation of the embargo, which was confirmed by a U.N. panel of experts, and said that allowing the Houthis to take hold of Iranian-made weapons posed “serious risks to peace and stability in the region”.
The four nations implored Iran “to immediately cease all activities that are inconsistent with or would violate the terms” of the 2015 U.N. Security Council resolution about the arms embargo.
This statement was released a day after Russia vetoed a British-drafted U.N.S.C resolution that would condemn Iran and extend sanctions in Yemen.
The U.N. experts monitoring sanctions against Iran released a report in January that concluded Iran was not complying with the arms embargo because it failed “to take the necessary measures” to prevent the supply of missiles and drones to Houthi Shiite rebels fighting the internationally-recognised government.
On Monday, Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vassily Nebenzia said that these conclusions “selective and contentious” and warned of “dangerous, destabilizing ramifications” in Yemen if the resolution was adopted.
This doesn’t recognise that the Iranian Regime is already dangerously destabilising Yemen through its support of the Houthis.
The Western powers didn’t mention the Russian veto in their statement, but did support and express “grave concerns” about the findings of the U.N. report.
They particularly noted the U.N. finding that the Houthis’ ballistic missile attacks on Saudi Arabia “has the potential to turn a local conflict into a broader regional one”.
The four countries also called on all parties involved to comply with international humanitarian and human rights law, to continue allowing humanitarian aid to enter, and to return to peace talks.
Yemen was plunged into civil war in 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthis took over the capital Sanaa and forced out the internationally recognized government.
The legitimate Yemeni government had to seek support from neighbouring Gulf countries and in March 2015, an Arab coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the U.S., entered Yemen to restore that government.
All four of the Western powers were party to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal along with Russia and China.
In January, Donald Trump vowed to re-impose U.S. sanctions on Iran unless the deal was amended to fix its major flaws.
The May 12 deadline is fast approaching and the U.S. is currently hosting talks with the European countries.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told reporters that the Russian veto “isn’t going to make the decision on the nuclear deal”, but that it also doesn’t help.