Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, lashed out at Iran on Tuesday, calling the country the “common thread” that connects violent incidents in the Middle East.

Speaking at a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss recent clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces on the Gaza border, Haley sought to cast blame on Iran for supporting the militant Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which encouraged demonstrators on Monday to rush the fence bordering Israel.

“In recent days, Hamas terrorists, backed by Iran, have incited attacks against Israeli security forces and infrastructure. That is violence that should occupy our attention to,” Haley told Security Council members.

“The common thread in all of this is the destabilizing conduct of the Iranian regime — a regime that insists on promoting violence throughout the Middle East while depriving its own people of basic human rights.”

Haley pointed to Iran’s support for Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are fighting a Saudi-led coalition in the country’s civil war, as well as Tehran’s backing of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“There is far too little discussion in the Security Council on Iran’s destabilizing presence in Syria, its promotion of violence in Yemen, its support for terrorism in Gaza and its dangerous and illegal weapons buildup in Lebanon,” Haley said.

Haley’s comments came a day after at least 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during protests at the fence between Israel and Gaza.

The protests coincided with the official opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem — an event celebrated by Israeli officials and pro-Israel groups, but decried by Palestinians.

The embassy opening came as Israel marked the 70th anniversary of its establishment. For Palestinians, however, the day is a reminder of the “Nakba” — Arabic for “catastrophe” – when they were forced out of their homes during Israel’s founding in 1948.

Haley’s comments on Tuesday also followed President Trump’s decision last week to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, which sought to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.

Trump had long railed against the pact, which he said failed to crack down on Iran’s destabilizing activities beyond its nuclear pursuits, such as its support for groups deemed terrorist organizations by the U.S.

Source » thehill