Even as Israel continued to publicly rail against the Iran nuclear agreement, it moved one step further to enactment on Monday when the UN Security Council, which had imposed tough sanctions on Iran, endorsed the deal, though it will be able to re-impose sanctions over the decade if Tehran breaches the accord.
Following the unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council, the only hurdle left to the accord is the US Congress, but even there the lawmakers will – in the unlikely case that they will be able to override a pledged presidential veto – only be able to prevent US President Barack Obama from dismantling the US sanctions.
The UN submitted the draft resolution to the Security Council over the weekend, drawing some fire on Capitol Hill and among American Jewish organizations concerned that this move largely preempted the debate in Congress and placed undue pressure on Congressional members to vote for the accord since it has now already been adopted by the UN Security council US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said during the debate that deal would make the world "safer and more secure."
But she added that it "doesn't change our profound concern about human rights violations committed by the Iranian government or about instability Iran fuels ... from its support for terrorist proxies to its repeated threats against Israel, its other destabilizing activities in the region." Her words, however, did nothing to blunt Israeli anger and frustration over the accord, with Israel's ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor saying at a press conference soon after the Security Council endorsed the accord that the world voted to empower Iran's “growing empire of terror.”
Now, he said, it will have $150 billion to fund its terrorist activities around the world.
The international community, he said, has “awarded a great prize to the most dangerous country in the world.”
“I hate to be the one to spoil the party, but someone has to say that the emperor has no clothes,” said Prosor. He said that allowing Iran to sit on a commission that will decide whether it has in fact violated the accord – as the agreement stipulates – is “like allowing a criminal to sit on a jury that will decide his fate.”
Prosor also pointed out that the international community has a “bad track record when it comes to seeing impending disasters.”
As examples he pointed to the world's embrace of the Arab Spring, as well as those in the international community who praised Bashar Assad when he first took power as a forward thinking reformist who would change Syria's economy.
“Quite a change it has been,” said the often-sarcastic Prosor.
Those who at the time “dared to say things a bit differently” – as Israel did now and is doing again today – were dismissed as “being without imagination,” or lacking creativity and “unable to escape old paradigms,” he said. The resolution approved by the Security Council allows for supply of ballistic missile technology and heavy weapons, such as tanks and attack helicopters, to Iran with Security Council approval, but the US has pledged to veto any such requests.
The restrictions on ballistic missile technology are in place for eight years and on heavy weapons for five years. The resolution leaves in place an arms embargo on conventional weapons for five years.
In casting the US vote on Monday, the administration rejected a request to postpone the vote at the UN from the authors of the bill that was passed in the spring and granted Congress review powers over the agreement.
Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), urged the UN postponement, with the two signing a joint letter issuing the request.
Together, the two senators brokered a bipartisan compromise for the review bill last May which ultimately earned the support of 98 senators.
“It is inappropriate to commit the United States to meet certain international obligations without even knowing if Congress and the American people approve or disapprove of the Iran agreement," Corker said in response to the UN vote. He said he expected members of Congress to "vote their conscience" once a resolution on the Iran agreement reaches the floor.
"There is bipartisan skepticism about whether this deal can prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon," Corker continued.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, said in a Likud faction meeting that that Congress could still act to alter the situation, and denied that the UN vote was “the end of the story.”
“This is not true, because as long as US Congressional sanctions are in place – and I remind you that the American economy is 40 times as large as the Iranian economy – Iran will be compelled in the end to make concessions, and not just receive them,” he said.
Netanyahu made reference to a tweet Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei posted on Monday saying that Israel's security “will not be ensured” regardless of whether there is a nuclear deal.
“On the day on which the ruler of Iran has reiterated his intention to destroy the State of Israel, the UN Security Council is giving its approval to that same country, which has systematically violated the UNSC's decisions and which calls for the destruction of Israel, a member of the UN. The hypocrisy knows no bounds,” he said.
Inside Iran, meanwhile, Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps said that parts of the UN draft, agreed upon jointly during the negotiations, "have clearly crossed the Islamic Republic's red lines
, especially in Iran's military capabilities." "We will never accept it," said the group's commander, Mohammad Ali Jafari, according to state-run media.