The Nikki Haley Report Card

Nikki Haley speaks to the United Nations. (Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Nikki Haley speaks  at the United Nations. (Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley is the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She has earned a reputation as a strong advocate for U.S. interests and a powerful opponent of America’s enemies.

Prior to taking up her position at the U.N., she focused primarily on domestic issues unrelated to Islamism, such as charter schools and tax policy.

So where does she stand on issues of Islamic extremism?

 

Terrorism

Haley has been tough on terrorist groups and the states which support them.

“Defeating the world’s most dangerous terrorist organizations cannot fully succeed until U.N. Member States stop their own support of terrorist activity,” she told the U.N. General Assembly in February. “Proposals on paper will have limited impact as long as there are states that choose to arm, shelter, and finance terrorist organizations.”

In particular she has sought action against Hamas and Hezbollah.

In June, Haley called on the U.N. Security Council to “designate Hamas as a terrorist organization in a resolution, with consequences for anyone who continues to support it.”

“Hamas chooses to devote its resources to terrorism instead of governing and reaching peace,” she told the council.

With Hezbollah, she has been equally firm.

In late July, she called on the Security Council to recognize Hezbollah as “a destructive terrorist force.” She wants to see an expanded role for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to monitor and combat Hezbollah violations of UN sanctions on the border with Israel.

In late June, she argued that the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran could soon see nuclear weapons fall into the hands of terrorist groups.

 

Iran

“The United States is not naive,” Haley said in January, in a statement slamming Iran for carrying out a ballistic missile test. “We are not going to stand by. You will see us call them out, as we said we would, and you are also going to see us act accordingly.”

Since January, Haley has continued to work with other nations to hold Iranian aggression and sponsorship of terrorism to account.

“If we are speaking honestly about conflict in the Middle East, we need to start with the chief culprit, Iran, and its partner militia, Hezbollah,” Haley said during her first session holding the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council in April.  “For decades they have conducted terrorist acts across the region.”

In June, she slammed the UN Security Council for failing “to even take minimal steps” to respond after Iran “repeatedly and deliberately violated” UN sanctions.

This is in contrast to Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, who hailed the deal as “the embodiment of successful multilateral diplomacy, political will and perseverance.”

This month, she will travel to Vienna for a meeting with the International Atomic Energy Agency, to confirm whether or not Iran is in violation of the nuclear deal.

 

Syria

Haley has called for regime change in Syria, saying:

“There’s not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime.”

In opposing Assad, she has criticized Russia’s role in the Syrian Civil War, accusing Putin’s government of abetting Assad’s human rights abuses.

 

The Gulf States

“We don’t support Saudi Arabia when it comes to human rights,” Haley told CBS’s Face the Nation in a recent interview.

She also saw the crisis between Qatar and the other Gulf States as “an opportunity to sort of hit on both of them,” in particular to tell Qatar to “quit funding Hamas.”

 

Israel

Haley threatened that the U.S. will leave the UN Human Rights Council, a body she has calledso corrupt,” unless it reforms.

She called Agenda Item Seven, the standing item on the UNHRC agenda which mandates that the Israel/Palestinian conflict be discussed at every meeting a “scandalous provision that singles out Israel for automatic criticism,” saying “there is no legitimate human rights reason for this agenda item to exist.”

She demanded the UNHRC drop this item, reject a proposed blacklist of companies which do business in the West Bank and stop obsessing over anti-Israel resolutions.

During a recent trip to Israel, she said “it was a blessing” to visit the Western Wall.

 

Although it is still early in her tenure, so far U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has stood up against Islamic extremism on the international stage.

EF
Elliot Friedland
Elliot Friedland is a research fellow at Clarion Project.