Cold war at the UN pits Haley against Russian newcomer Nebenzia

At an Oct. 18 Security Council meeting on the Middle East — a session many countries typically use to criticize Israel’s settlements in occupied territories — Haley instead devoted her address to lambasting Iran, another Russian ally, for its “destabilizing” actions in the region. After she finished, Nebenzia theatrically examined the papers in front of him and declared that Haley, a former governor with little foreign policy experience, must be “confused” over the agenda, which he said was about Palestine and not Iran.

Six days later, Nebenzia had harsher words after he blocked a U.S.-sponsored resolution — in his first use of the veto power — to extend the mandate of the panel investigating the April 4 sarin attacks in Syria that killed more than 80 people and injured almost 300.

“Let’s not pretend we don’t understand what’s taking place here,” Nebenzia said as he pushed to postpone the vote. “This has not been done out of good intentions, it is intended to embarrass Russia once again.”