Pompeo’s Dominican Diplomacy Quick Pay-Off? Dominican Republic Is US’s Only Friend In UN Security Council Vote On Iran Sanctions.

Photo: AP. A masked man rides into town, but what is the real reason for his visit? Pompeo seen here on a recent visit to the Dominican Republic in which the main purpose of his visit was never revealed.
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Only four days ago it was reported here that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had flown in to Santo Domingo to be present at the inauguration of new Dominican Republic (DR) President Luis Abinader and that post-ceremony the two men had met to reaffirm the mutual friendship of the two countries.

That friendship with a new acquaintance seems to have paid off remarkably quickly for Pompeo.

The Guardian, a leading UK newspaper, known for anti_American sentiment, today reports that Mike Pompeo has set the US on a collision course with most of its UN partners in an attempt to extend the isolation of Iran.

The US, it seems, has only has one friend in the world when it comes to Iran policy, and that is the Dominican Republic.

The US secretary of state went to the UN on Thursday to set in motion a diplomatic gambit, claiming the US is still a participant in the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran – from which Donald Trump explicitly withdrew two years ago – and therefore retains the right under the rules of the deal to trigger a “snapback” or resumption of full UN sanctions.

Instead it was the US which appeared beleaguered, with Pompeo clashing bitterly with European allies, emphasising a deepening Transatlantic rift.

Very few other UN member states think the US has the authority to do this. Even before he made a scheduled announcement at the UN headquarters in New York, the UK, France and Germany issued a statement saying the the US was not a participant and they would not support it.

“France, Germany and the United Kingdom (“the E3”) note that the US ceased to be a participant to the JCPoA following their withdrawal from the deal on May 8, 2018,” a joint letter from the three governments said. “We cannot therefore support this action which is incompatible with our current efforts to support the JCPOA.”

Richard Gowan, the UN director at the International Crisis Group, said that US leaks earlier in the year, revealing that it had threatened the UK and other European countries with sanctions if they did not take action against Iran, had backfired.

In response, Pompeo denounced the Europeans as having chosen to “side with the Ayatollahs”.

“Their actions endanger the people of Iraq, of Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and indeed their own citizens as well,” he told reporters. “America won’t join in this failure of leadership. America will not appease. America will lead.”

The extent of US isolation was illustrated by a related vote in the security council last week, in which it received support from the Dominican Republic alone, despite an intense and targeted lobbying campaign.

The Dominican Republic holds a two-year seat on the United Nations Security Council as the representative of the Caribbean and Latin-American nations. This temporary position is due to end on the last day of 2020.

“France, Germany and the United Kingdom (“the E3”) note that the US ceased to be a participant to the JCPoA following their withdrawal from the deal on May 8, 2018,” a joint letter from the three governments said. “We cannot therefore support this action which is incompatible with our current efforts to support the JCPOA.”

Richard Gowan, the UN director at the International Crisis Group, said that US leaks earlier in the year, revealing that it had threatened the UK and other European countries with sanctions if they did not take action against Iran, had backfired.

“That was an exceedingly stupid move because, especially in London, ministers were deeply offended that the US was treating them in this way, and actually that was probably the first moment that the Johnson administration in London started to stiffen its spine and wonder whether it really wanted to end up supporting the US in this process,” Gowan said.

José Singer Weisinger, a businessman who speaks English, was appointed in 2019 by President Danilo to represent the Dominican Republic as a  special envoy during the country’s two-year term on the UN Security Council, starting in January 2019. Due to  the lack of any public announcement, it is not yet clear whether he has been replaced by the incoming Dominican Government.

At the time of his appointment, he had been quoted as saying:

“Personally, I want to look at how [we] can think outside of the box to solve problems not taken care of in the Security Council and make our presence in the Security Council recognized.”

Other Caribbean and Latin-American leaders have not yet reacted to the Dominican Republic vote or offered opinions as to how the DR is representing the region at the United Nations Security Council.

In his inauguration speech Sunday, the incoming President Abinader said,

“Through our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we will promote trade and investment at a time when they will be crucial for our recovery. We will strengthen our strategic relationships with the United States, our main commercial partner, and the place where two million compatriots reside.”

“And we will continue to strengthen our relations with all regions of the world, including the European Union, especially with our Spanish partners and of course, we will redouble our efforts to be an actor of economic transformation and promoter of democracy and its values ​​throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Right now it looks like the DR is prioritizing the relationship with the US over the relationship with the European Union.

However the new President also pointed out in his speech that “the current educational model in our country does not work”, that the DR has one of the lowest literacy rates among nations, and that the education system requires radical reform.

Press releases from the US State Department and the office of the President of the Dominican Republic have so far made no mention of any discussion between Pompeo and Abinader regarding the Dominican vote on the UN Security Council.

 

 

 

 

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