Their stance prompted the United States on January 6 to accuse the two permanent members of the Security Council of blocking a statement that emphasizes the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises after Iran-backed Shiite militias attached the U.S. Embassy compound in Iraq.
Statements by the 15-member Security Council must be agreed on by consensus.
The U.S. diplomatic mission at the UN said 27 countries had censured the attack on the Baghdad embassy “in stark contrast to the United Nations Security Council’s silence due to two permanent members – Russian and China – not allowing a statement to proceed.”
President Donald Trump on January 3 authorized an airstrike in Iraq that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. The drone strike sharply escalated tensions between Washington and Tehran to a boiling point and carried both into unchartered waters.
As head of the Quds Force, the foreign arm of Iran’s hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the 62-year-old Soleimani helped orchestrate Tehran’s overseas clandestine and military operations.
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said although he agreed with the proposed U.S. statement condemning the embassy attack, it would’ve been “impossible” not to mention the U.S. killing of Soleimani.
Similarly, China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun said that “if the [Security] council is supposed to do something, we should have complete coverage of the whole thing.”
Meanwhile, Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro spoke out in support of Trump on January 6 amid widespread criticism for the killing of Soleimani.
“We don’t accept terrorism,” Bolsonaro told journalists in Brasilia as cited by AFP.
He added that “if we have a terrorist in Brazil, we would deliver him” to justice.
The same day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy saying he “appreciated” their “support in condemning the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.”