National Security

Trump’s UN Ambassador Is About To Have Her First International Showdown

REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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President Donald Trump’s newly minted United Nations Amb. Nikki Haley is set to take on her first major battle Tuesday night, as the security council prepares to hold an emergency meeting to discuss Iran’s latest missile test.

Haley, who was confirmed by the senate Friday, will likely come down hard on Iran for Sunday’s missile test, which could be a violation of U.N. sanctions. Haley’s first speech at U.N. headquarters Friday made the administration’s position clear: The U.S. will defend its friends, and will expect them to do the same.

“Our goal with the admin is to show value at the U.N. and the way that we will do that is to show strength, show our voice, have the backs of our allies and make sure our allies have our back as well,” said Haley. “For those who don’t have our backs, we’re taking names.”

But Haley could face some push-back within the security council in any attempt to reprimand Iran. Russia stated Tuesday afternoon that it does not believe Iran’s test constitutes a violation.

“Such actions, if they took place, do not breach the resolution,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Interfax news. He dismissed the U.S. demand for an emergency meeting as “heating up the situation.”

Iran tested the medium-range Khorramshahr ballistic missile Sunday, the fifth such test since the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the JCPOA or Iran nuclear deal, and the first since Trump took office. The U.N. has met in the past regarding such tests, but has failed to take any decisive actions to curb the Iranian missile threat.

Iran claimed the missile test is not a violation, and warned the U.S. against attempting to “create new tensions.”

Russia engaged in an arms agreement with Iran shortly after the signing of the JCPOA. The emergency meeting comes at a time when U.S.-Russia relations are at their worst since the Cold War, meaning Haley will likely be challenged by her Russian counterpart.

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