Why is The Dominican Republic the Only Nation in the UN Security Council Backing Washington in its Quest to Sanction Iran?

Pompeo and Abinader. AP
Last week, AlJazeera wrote that the United States has never been so isolated in its quest to sanction Iran, with only the Dominican Republic voting to extend an arms embargo against the Islamic Republic.

The Dominican Republic just recently swore in Luis Abinader, of Arab descent, into power. Beyond using his Arab clout to strengthen ties with Middle Eastern states, Mr. Abinader also needs to reassure the United States of where his loyalties lie. 

These loyalties need to be strong in the coming months as the Dominican Republic begins the difficult work of enforcing Judgement 168-13, the controversial 2013 ruling by the country's Constitutional Tribunal which retroactively voided the citizenship of more than 250,000 Haitians born in the Dominican Republic, all the way back to the year 1929. 

Although before being elected it was unclear whether Mr. Abinader would abide by the Constitutional Tribunal's ruling, his Minister of Foreign Relations, Roberto Alvarez, clarified last month that the issue had been resolved and that the ruling would be respected.

Before leaving power just days ago, former President Danilo Medina granted citizenship to 750 Haitians, offering perhaps the strongest indication of what he wants his legacy to be and what he expects Mr. Abinader to do. Mr. Medina did not appreciate the Constitutional Tribunal's ruling because he didn't enjoy being an international "pariah." Nonetheless, it seems that Mr. Abinader, in siding with the United States against Iran in the Security Council, has absolutely no qualms about how he may be perceived internationally. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many Dominicans unemployed, and one way that Mr. Abinader could alleviate unemployment and boost his chances for reelection in 2024 is by executing Judgement 168-13, something that he may be compelled to do by the current crisis.