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Nikki Haley urges U.N. Security Council to adopt Trump's approach to Iran

UNITED NATIONS -- U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley urged the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to adopt the Trump administration's comprehensive approach to Iran and address all aspects of its "destructive conduct" — not just the 2015 nuclear deal. 

She told the council that Iran "has repeatedly thumbed its nose" at council resolutions aimed at addressing Iranian support for terrorism and regional conflicts and has illegally supplied weapons to Yemen and Hezbollah militants in Syria and Lebanon. 

"Worse, the regime continues to play this council," Haley said. "Iran hides behind its assertion of technical compliance with the nuclear deal while it brazenly violates the other limits of its behavior, and we have allowed them to get away with it."

"This must stop," she said. 

Iran reacts to Trump move 02:07

Haley cited a long list of Iranian violations, including threatening freedom of navigation in the Gulf, cyber-attacks, imprisonment of journalists and other foreigners, and abuses of its people by persecuting some religions and imprisoning gays and lesbians.

She called Iran's "most threatening act its repeated ballistic missile launches including the launch this summer of an ICBM enabling missile."

"This should be a clarion call to everyone in the United Nations," Haley said.

"When a rogue regime starts down the path of ballistic missiles, it tells us that we will soon have another North Korea on our hands," she said. "If it is wrong for North Korea to do this, why doesn't that same mentality apply to Iran?" 

Iran's weapons 01:36

Haley said the Security Council has the opportunity to change its policy toward Iran.

"I sincerely hope it will take this chance to defend not only the resolutions but peace, security and human rights in Iran," she said.

"Judging Iran by the narrow confines of the nuclear deal misses the true nature of the threat," Haley stressed. "Iran must be judged in totality of its aggressive, destabilizing and unlawful behavior. To do otherwise would be foolish." 

Israel's Ambassador Danny Danon echoed Haley's position by saying, "Iran is guilty of sponsoring and endorsing worldwide terror, violating human rights, promoting anti-Semitism and seeking to destroy a U.N. member state – the State of Israel."

Haley talked about the human rights abuses of the Iranian government and the Revolutionary Guard, saying, "Iran hides behind its assertion of technical compliance with the nuclear deal while it brazenly violates the other limits on its behavior," CBS News' Pamela Falk reported.

Adding that the Security Council as a whole is taking a "dangerously short-sighted approach" by only looking at compliance with the nuclear provisions, Haley said "this council now has the opportunity to change its policy toward the Iranian regime."

Britain's Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Allen said that while the U.K. supports the Iran nuclear deal – formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – they are concerned with Iran's ballistic missile launches, saying that they will work with the U.S. to stop "destabilizing" activities.

"It is for me clear that this agreement is essential, this agreement is something that needs to be preserved," the secretary general told reporters after the meeting. "It is to the parties to the agreement to look into whatever development they might consider." 

Iran's Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo was clearly angered by the new U.S. approach at the U.N. on Wednesday. 

"The new U.S. administration approach and the recent dangerous strategy toward the (nuclear) deal and Iran run counter to all of these efforts and intend to add another crisis to the regional issues," he said. 

The Trump administration has not withdrawn from the nuclear deal, but the Treasury Department has designated Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard under its terrorism authority, which places limits on Iran's ability to garner financing.

Howard Mendelsohn, former acting assistant secretary for the Treasury Department's Office of Intelligence and Analysis, and managing director of The Camstoll Group, told CBS News that the designation of the Revolutionary Guard will not change much for the U.S. financial system since it was previously sanctioned for its involvement in human rights abuses and Iran's ballistic missile program.

"The Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) continues to maintain a significant domestic commercial presence in Iran and operates an extensive global network of fronts and affiliates to help it evade sanctions," Mendelsohn said. "It's important for financial institutions and businesses to understand that network in order to better manage sanctions-related risk."

The Security Council has endorsed the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal which caps its nuclear program for about 10 years, and the agreement has the support of U.S. allies and the other veto-wielding council members Britain, France, Russia and China.

But getting the Security Council to take action against Iran for violations of council resolutions banning the transfer of conventional weapons, and more broadly for what the U.S. considers its support for terrorists and human rights violations is unlikely. It would require support from Russia, which like Hezbollah is in Syria supporting President Bashar Assad and has good relations with Iran. 

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