Sunday, December 24, 2006

Iran Facing UN Sanctions

Iran Facing UN Sanctions

Ali Asghar Kazemi
December 23, 2006


Finally the Security Council approved the long-awaited resolution (1337) today, December 23, 2006, before it closes for Christmas and New Year holidays. The resolution, adopted under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, intends to impose sanctions against Iran’s doubtful nuclear activities, claimed to be for non-peaceful purposes. Perhaps not surprisingly, it was passed by unanimous votes of the Council, including its permanent members. Russia and China voted for it, though with a bit of political maneuver in order to show their sympathy and goodwill towards Iran.

It was crystal clear from the beginning that Iranian diplomacy and political maneuvers in order to throw ambiguity in the case and cleavage among the parties involved would not produce the intended results. As expected, in the final account Russians and Chinese did not hesitate to forego their short term economic interests vis-à-vis Iran for a more lucrative and durable relations with the West.

Once again it was proved that the Security Council’s main function is not to render justice to any member state but to maintain the status quo in the present world order. The declaration of the Islamic government representative at the UN after the voting in the Council seems quite redundant when he alluded to the double standard position of the Security Council with respect to the proliferation and Israel’s unlawful acquisition of nuclear weapons. The statement could be even interpreted as an implicit indication that the government of Iran is vainly defending its nuclear ambitions in similar direction.

While the Russians were able to some extent to introduce a rather moderate approach with sanctions in the operative parts of the resolution, they missed the main point that at this stage the importance lies not in the substance but rather the consensus reached for its adoption under Article 41 of the Charter. The West and the United States are gradually pushing the political leaders in Iran to the corner so that their continued defiance of the Security Council demand would pave the way for a final solution leaving no more room for legal arguments or diplomatic dialogue.

The next 60 days given to Iran to cooperate with the Security Council and the IAEA for suspension of its nuclear enrichment activities would be a period of nerve consuming experience. It is a bitter test for Iran’s foreign policy and strategy in the region which would also have undeniable impact upon its domestic policy and a host of other critical issues.

Let’s hope that politicians from all sides come to their sense and leave aside rhetoric, arrogance and shortsightedness in deciding future courses of actions for the benefits of their peoples. We will discuss more on this subject in the coming weeks/

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