The "sudden" and "enigmatic" resignation by Nikki Haley from her position as US ambassador to the United Nations hit the headlines of most Iranian papers Oct. 10, as they reviewed her anti-Iran stances and particularly her vehement opposition to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Pejoratively describing the US diplomat as "the anti-Iran sheriff," Reformist paper Etemad recalled her "show" in Washington where she gathered ambassadors to present what she claimed was evidence of Iranian military aid to Yemen's Houthi fighters. The editorial dug into the roots of Haley's "blind hostility" toward Iran in her "fervent support for Israel during her youth … a sentiment that she still maintains with no less passion."
Haley's anti-Iran positions were the central themes in the Iranian media’s coverage of her resignation, which featured speculations about the reasons for her decision to step aside later this year. According to Khorasan, the US diplomat's resignation could be traced to her idea for President Donald Trump to chair the Sept. 26 UN Security Council meeting on nonproliferation, which focused on Iran. It described the session as a "political failure" for both Haley and the US government. "All those present at the meeting criticized the US withdrawal from the Iran [nuclear] deal, prompting Trump's departure from the session ahead of schedule," wrote Mardomsalari under a headline that referred to Haley as "the enemy of the United Nations." The world body, according to the editorial, will now enjoy "a sigh of relief" for some time before Trump assigns a new envoy.
Haley's Iranian counterpart also reacted to her decision. "Mrs. Haley entered the UN with a unilateralist approach," said Gholam-Ali Khoshroo, who heads Iran's mission at the United Nations. "She looked upon the UN as a military base or a prison."
But on social media, Haley's resignation divided opponents and supporters of the Islamic Republic. "People like Nikki Haley, who are standing by the Iranian people today, will be the honorary citizens of our country the day after the [Islamic Republic's] overthrow," tweeted one user, while another sat on the other side of the spectrum: "Haley was a perfect manifestation of hostility, hawkishness, warmongering, sedition and hatred. …"
As coverage of Haley’s resignation was featured in Iran's Reformist and moderate papers, the leading conservative outlets — Kayhan, Javan and Vatan-e Emrooz — looked the other way. Representing the most hard-line camp in Iran known as "the worried ones," they have been under fire by Reformists for effectively siding with the more extreme members of the US administration and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in their rigid opposition to the JCPOA.
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