Friday, September 26, 2008

UN to pass "resolution"on Iran

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council (plus Germany) have agreed on a draft of another resolution condemning Iran's nuclear program. But, in a nod to Russian (and Chinese) objections the latest resolution will not include sanctions against Iran, which begs the question: what's the point?

The UN has already leveled three rounds of sanctions against Iran to try to convince them to give up their nuclear program - which the Iranians say is meant to produce power, and the US, Israel and other nations claim is really production line for atomic weapons. But Iran has brushed off the sanctions and plowed ahead with their program. Maybe it's silly to think that a fourth round of sanctions would finally convince Iran to change their ways, but its sillier still to think they'll stop their atomic program because the UN has passed a resolution asking them to do so.

Officials like US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tried to spin the resolution as a powerful message to Iran that despite recent anger between the US and Russia over Russia's conflict with Georgia, the US and Russia remain committed to stopping Iran's nuclear program. I doubt the Iranians will buy that. Really it would seem to show the opposite, that Russia - which isn't keen on seeing the Iranians build a nuclear bomb either – is not willing to work with the US on an issue that they basically agree on because of the sad state of US-Russian relations. And there's China as well, also unwilling to join the Western nations of the 5+1 group on putting in more sanctions.

More sanctions might not be the best way to deal with Iran. But it does no good for anyone involved (or the prestige of the UN for that matter) proposing them, settling for silly resolutions and pretending they're meaningful.
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