Russian Federation vetoes United Nations resolution condemning Iran sanctions violation

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The unanimous vote followed a Russian veto of a UK-drafted text that contained language of Iranian "non-compliance" with the United Nations sanctions regime against individuals and entities deemed to be engaging in or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, security or stability of Yemen.

The U.N. Security Council Sunday was considering two draft resolutions on Yemen after Russian Federation put forward a rival text aimed at blocking action against Iran over missiles sent to the country's Houthi rebels. The draft was vetoed by Bolivia and Russian Federation, while China and Kazakhstan abstained from the vote.

Russian Federation proposed its own resolution to extend sanctions against Yemen for one year without mentioning Iran, which was unanimously approved by the security council.

A Saudi-led coalition has been bombing Yemen nearly daily since 2015 as itattempts to dislodge Huthi rebels who seized control of the capital, in a conflict that has triggered the world's worst humanitarian crisis according to the United Nations.

The draft also urged members of the council to take further action against Iran for breaching the arms embargo.

In December, US ambassador to UN Nikki Haley posed in front of the partially incinerated remains of a missile, purported to be Iranian-made and fired into Saudi Arabia from Yemen.

For its part, Russian Federation insisted it could not consent to a draft resolution that it said "will inevitably escalate regional tensions".

Haley has taken a hawkish stance on Iran, accusing Tehran of sowing instability in the Middle East and failing to live up to its commitments under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said the wording in the British draft would have had "destabilising ramifications" if adopted, and warned about the effect it would have on Yemen and the region as a whole.

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The 15-member Security Council has to renew its targeted sanctions on Yemen on Monday.

"If Russia is going to use its veto to block action against Iran's unsafe and destabilizing conduct, then the United States and our partners will need to take actions against Iran that the Russians can not block", she said in an ominous warning.

A United Nations report in January said Tehran had breached an arms embargo by failing to stop weapons reaching the Huthis.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who was flying to Central America, warned in a statement: "If Russia is going to use its veto to block action against Iran's risky and destabilizing conduct, then the United States and our partners will need to take actions against Iran that the Russians can not block".

Russia, which has traditionally friendly relations with Iran, is providing military support along with Tehran to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

Since March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf countries, supported by the United States and the United Kingdom, has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request.

Iran has accused Washington of "participation and responsibility" for what it says are "atrocities committed by Saudi Arabia in Yemen".

"Such blame games are being played by those who are fanning the flames of war and bloodshed in Yemen". Millions of people are on the brink of starvation and more than 22 million - nearly the entire population - are in need, according to humanitarian agencies.

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