Breaking Thursday, the United Nations General Counsel voted in favor of suspending Russia from the Human Rights Council. 93 nations voted in favor of the suspension, 24 voted against and 58 abstained.
The vote comes after the publicizing of the alleged atrocities Russian troops have recently committed in Bucha, Ukraine. “Russia is not only committing human rights violations, it is shaking the underpinnings of international peace and security” said Ukraine’s U.N. ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya.
UN suspends Russia from Human Rights Council following alleged Bucha, Ukraine atrocitieshttps://t.co/e4g2RKVInW
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 7, 2022
Among the nations who voted against the suspension, in favor of Russia, were Belarus, China, North Korea, Iran and Syria. China’s ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun said, “dealing with the membership of the Human Rights Council in such a way will set new dangerous precedent” and “produce serious consequences.”
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U.S. House Votes to Permanently Freeze $6 Billion Iranian Funds Amid Hostage Exchange Controversy
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation to permanently freeze $6 billion in Iranian funds that were initially slated for release by the Biden administration as part of a hostage exchange with Tehran earlier this year. The measure passed in a 307-119 vote, with the majority of Republicans supporting it, according to The Hill. Notably, Kentucky GOP Rep. Thomas Massie was the sole Republican dissenting voice, aligning with 118 Democrats.
The frozen funds, originally held in South Korea, were part of a deal where Seoul committed to paying Iran for oil before the U.S. imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic in 2019. Subsequently, these funds were transferred to Qatar as part of the exchange. However, in the aftermath of an Oct. 7 Hamas raid on Israel, where more than 200 hostages were seized and around 1,200 civilians were killed, both Qatar and the U.S. agreed to refreeze the funds.
The decision to permanently freeze the funds reflects the growing controversy surrounding the hostage exchange and the broader implications of releasing substantial financial resources to Iran. Tehran’s support for Hamas and its proxies’ heightened hostilities in the Middle East have contributed to the contentious nature of this issue.
As the legislation progresses, it further underscores the complex dynamics in the region and the United States’ response to Iran’s involvement in activities that destabilize the Middle East. The vote outcome signals a bipartisan stance on this matter, with implications for U.S.-Iran relations and the ongoing challenges of navigating geopolitical complexities.
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