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The futility of UN Security Council resolutions

By Kourosh Ziabari - posted Thursday, 17 June 2010

Although the United Nations Security Council, which some politicians believe is one of the most undemocratic organisations in the world, voted in favour of a fourth round of sanctions against Iran over its uranium enrichment program, the global public opinion is that 15 countries, five of which are entitled to remain in an unquestionable monopoly and dominance, cannot in reality represent the interests of the international community.

The Security Council - which since its establishment has made discriminatory decisions against different countries, especially those non-aligned nations who typically try to escape from the hegemony of the superpowers - is notorious for its habitual exercise of double standards: it's clear to everyone that its resolutions are, more often than not, futile, ineffective, biased and unbinding.

Since 1948, the Security Council has adopted 223 resolutions in condemnation of Israel's violations of international law, including the occupation of Palestinian lands, unilateral incursions into the Lebanese and Syrian soils, developing nuclear weapons, deporting the Palestinian citizens from their homes and building illegal settlements in the West Bank. Interestingly, the Israeli regime did not pay attention to any of these resolutions and the UNSC never pursued its demands to hold Tel Aviv accountable for its continued, flagrant defiance of international regulations.


For instance, the UNSC resolution 487 demanded Israel put its nuclear facilities under the comprehensive safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Israel never heeded the call and the UNSC never sued Israel for its inattentiveness to the resolution.

As another example, the Security Council adopted six consequent resolutions in the wake of the 1982 Lebanon War, calling on Israel to cease its military activities and withdraw its forces from Lebanese territory, but Israel refused to accept the resolutions until the resolution 517 was adopted in which Tel Aviv was strongly censured for its failure to obey the UNSC resolutions since March 1982.

The state of Israel, since its establishment, has attacked all of its neighbouring countries on various occasions, as a result inciting UNSC resolutionsagainst it; however, these resolutions never went beyond political statements which were the least spontaneous reactions to Israel's brutality in the Middle East.

On March 21, 1968, Israel fought the Battle of Karameh by attacking the Karameh district of Jordan, killing 40 to 84 Jordanians and 100 to 200 Palestinians. The attack was followed by the UNSC resolution 248 in which the "flagrant violation of the UN Charter" was strongly condemned by all of the UNSC members, even the United States; however, this verbal condemnation was the sole reaction of the Security Council to Israel's violence.

In December 1968, Israel Defense Forces raided the Beirut International Airport, destroying 13 civilian airplanes belonging to Lebanon's national flag-carrier Middle East Airlines. The assault was followed by the UNSC resolution 262 which condemned Israel once again. The resolution cautioned Israel to retreat from repeating such actions to avoid being punished more severely; however, the further steps were never taken, even when Israel repeated these same actions.

In 1985, Israel staged an air raid on Tunisia to target the Palestinian Liberation Organization headquarters in the country. The resolution condemned Israel and demanded that Tel Aviv refrain from further attacks. It also noted that Tunisia had the right to repatriations considering the loss of life and material damage caused.


Having killed thousands of civilians since its creation, the criminal record of the Israeli regime is clear to the world and many testify that this brutal regime deserves to have the strongest measures taken against it.

The United Nations Security Council never went beyond propagandistic declarations against Israel’s killing of innocent civilians and its violation of international humanitarian law. If it were not the pressure of international community, UNSC would have not even issued these flimsy and ineffective resolutions against Israel.

The UNSC never passed any resolution to impose sanctions against Israel even though Israel’s transgressions and felonies are blatant and conspicuous. Nobody can deny the claim that Israel is a violent regime, similar to the apartheid regime of South Africa.

The recent resolution of the Security Council against Iran was a clear exercise in double standards by this prejudiced international body. The hypocritical stance of China and Russia regarding Iran's nuclear program and the astounding agreement of independent nations such as Gabon, Nigeria, Uganda, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Mexico with these big five leaves no room for continued diplomacy and peaceful interaction by Iran.

Iran has so far demonstrated a constructive and productive co-operation with the IAEA, G5+1 and the European Union, keeping all the doors open for negotiation and reconciliation. However, now that the coalition of superpowers, including China and Russia, have taken a confrontational stance against Iran and want to go down a unilateralistic path, Iran should change its tactic. One of its options is to withdraw from IAEA. If Pakistan, India and Israel can enjoy international impunity to develop nuclear weapons simply because they are not IAEA signatories, Iran can have equally the right to progress its peaceful nuclear program by withdrawing from a treaty which it had ratified voluntarily.

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About the Author

Kourosh Ziabari is an award-winning Iranian journalist, writer and media correspondent. In 2010, he won the presidential medal of Superior Iranian Youth for his media activities. He has also won the first prize of Iran's 18th Press Festival in the category of political articles. He has interviewed more than 200 public intellectuals, academicians, media personalities, politicians, thinkers and Nobel Prize laureates. His articles and interviews have been published in such media outlets as Press TV, Tehran Times, Iran Review, Global Research, Al-Arabiya, Your Middle East, Counter Currents, On Line Opinion and Voltaire Network and translated in Arabic, French, German, Turkish, Italian and Spanish.

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