Russia, China Join Forces Against Push to Punish Iran
North Korea Launches ICBM , With Range To Hit United States. ABC News reports that according to Japan's Defense Minister, North Korea has fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of traveling at least 9,300 miles. This range reportedly puts the U.S. mainland within North Korea's reach. The test missile landed in northern Japan, prompting Misawa Air Base staff and personnel to seek cover for over 20 minutes as a precautionary measure. The test missile landed in northern Japan, prompting Misawa Air Base staff and personnel to seek cover for over 20 minutes as a precautionary measure. At this time, there are no additional indications or warnings of an immediate threat to Misawa Air Base, Commander Michael Richard, via statement. At this time, there are no additional indications or warnings of an immediate threat to Misawa Air Base, Commander Michael Richard, via statement. President Biden has been briefed on the matter. Vice President Kamala Harris issued a statement from Bangkok where she is taking part in the Asia-Pacific Cooperative forum (APEC). This conduct by North Korea most recently is a brazen violation of multiple UN Security Resolution. It destabilizes security in the region and unnecessarily raises tensions, Vice President Kamala Harris, via statement. We strongly condemn these actions, and we again call for North Korea to stop further unlawful, destabilizing acts. , Vice President Kamala Harris, via statement. On behalf of the United States, I reaffirm our ironclad commitment to our Indo-Pacific Alliances. , Vice President Kamala Harris, via statement.
As the West sought to punish Iran over its violent crackdown on protesters this week, Russia and China banned together to show support in hopes of deepening the allegiance between the three nations.
On Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Council held a special session to address "the deteriorating human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially with respect to women and children" and voted on a resolution to promote accountability for the alleged atrocities.
Why Saudi Arabia Is So Quiet About Iran’s Protests
The kingdom’s rulers may have managed their own social pressures better, but they’re wary of the tumult that’s shaking their neighbor.The Saudi silence stems from lessons the kingdom absorbed during the events that turned the Persian monarchy into an Islamic Republic: Wait until the outcome is clear, and then wait some more. The protests that brought down the shah in 1979 unfolded over more than a year. Although today’s protests have become the greatest challenge to the Islamic Republic since that time, no rapid conclusion seems likely; hence the Saudi policy of watchful waiting.
Of the council's 47 member nations, 25 voted to create a new fact-finding mission to investigate alleged human rights violations related to the protests in Iran. China was among six votes against the resolution. Although Russia was suspended from the council earlier this year for its invasion of Ukraine, Russia called the U.N. meeting "counterproductive" and claimed the creation of such a mission was "illegitimate."
Iran has seen an unprecedented level of protests over the last two months after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died while in custody of Iran's "morality police" on September 16. This month, Iran issued the first death sentence in connection with the unrest, reminding many of the deadly months that followed the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Poland could invoke NATO Article 4 after Russian-made missiles reportedly struck a Polish village. Here's what that means.
Multiple Eastern European countries previously invoked NATO Article 4 in February following Russia's invasion in Ukraine.Russia's ongoing assault on Ukraine has forced the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its 30 member countries to continually grapple with the role they should play in the nearly nine-month conflict, but the Tuesday incident seemingly marks the first time Russian President Vladimir Putin's war has directly impacted a NATO member.
In response to the protests, the U.S. and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Iran for its treatment of demonstrators, but Russia and China have remained defiant against such measures, weighing their options on the international stage.
In a statement about Thursday's special session, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva Gennady Gatilov said: "Such initiatives have nothing to do with concern for human rights because their goal is to pin labels and put pressure on unwelcome states, using human rights as an excuse," according to Russian state-run news agency Tass.
Timothy Heath, a senior international defense researcher at the RAND Corporation, said the interactions between Russia, Iran and China are important to monitor because of the pressures that each nation faces.
"Russia's war effort is failing, Iran's economic situation and domestic political situation is in turmoil and China's economic situation has been worsening," Heath said. "There's a good chance they will feel growing incentives to collaborate and assist one another, or else [they'll have to] watch each other fall one by one."
Blaming Kurds for unrest, Iran threatens Iraq with offensive
BAGHDAD (AP) — A senior Iranian military official visiting Baghdad this week threatened Iraq with a ground military operation in the country’s north if the Iraqi army does not fortify the countries’ shared border against Kurdish opposition groups, multiple Iraqi and Kurdish officials said. Such an offensive, if carried out, would be unprecedented in Iraq, and raise the specter of regional fallout from Iran's domestic unrest, which Tehran has portrayed as a foreign plot without offering evidence.
Heath, who specializes in Chinese national strategy, politics and military, said Thursday's vote was no surprise given the increasingly sympathetic attitude Beijing has displayed toward Iran. In recent weeks, China has advocated for a less punitive approach toward Iran while mounting their criticisms of the West's response.
Russia, which has been increasing its military dependence on Iran's drones for its war effort in Ukraine, has taken a similar position, avoiding any disturbance of its relationship with Tehran.
"Russia wants the status quo, and it will use its powers at the U.N. to try to keep the status quo in place," Michael Kimmage, a former member of the U.S. secretary of state's policy planning staff, told Newsweek.
Kimmage, who held the Russia/Ukraine portfolio during his time at the State Department, said Russia and Iran are not exactly allies, but "they have lots of business that they conduct together and they want to keep it that way."
However, China faces a slightly different situation than Russia. While Russia has essentially been cut off from the Western markets as a result of its invasion of Ukraine, China still deals a lot with the West, thus capping how far China can go in backing Iran.
Is China Airlifting Supplies to Russia? What We Know, What We Don't
Commenters on a Ukrainian internet clip said Russian aircraft carried military equipment and clothing in nine trips to China in the past week.Defense Express, a Ukrainian military news outlet, reported on November 27 that flight-tracking services show Russian Antonov An-124 transport aircraft visited China nine times in seven days.
"However sympathetic it may be towards Iran and Russia, China needs the West economically," Kimmage said. "So, there's a limit to how much China can afford to antagonize the U.S., Europe and Japan because those are the markets that drive the Chinese economy."
Because China needs Western markets more than it needs to maintain goodwill with Iran, Heath said China is unlikely to openly violate the sanctions the U.S. has imposed, and thus will avoid doing business where it's not allowed.
"The position that makes the most sense for China is to politically criticize the Western approach, advocate for a more measured approach, but abstain from any formal violation or break with any U.N.-backed sanction," he said.
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