Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Ever-Effective UN: Hard at work on Iran

Reuters has the story:
The U.N. Security Council ran into new obstacles on Tuesday in trying to issue a statement on reining in Iran's nuclear ambitions after Russia insisted on deleting key parts of the text.

A closed-door meeting among all 15 council members scheduled for Tuesday was delayed until later in the week while diplomats talk in small groups, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said. Members last week thought a deal was close.

"The impact on the negotiations which we are trying to do here was not as positive as we would have wished," British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said. "That is the basic problem."

Council members have mulled a reaction to Iran's nuclear program, which the West believes is a cover for bomb making, since receiving a dossier from the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna on March 8.

Russia, supported by China, has been wary of action by the Security Council, which can impose sanctions, fearing threats might escalate and prompt Iran to cut all contact with the IAEA, the U.N. nuclear watchdog. On the statement, Russia wants about half the text deleted, China said.

A statement requires agreement from all 15 Security Council members while a resolution needs nine votes in favor and no veto from any of the permanent members -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.

The Western powers could turn the statement, drafted by France and Britain, into a resolution and dare Russia and China to take what would be a serious step and veto a text on Iran.

Asked about a resolution, Britain's Jones Parry said everything was on the table "if it produces a satisfactory outcome, sends the right message to the government in Tehran."

"I think what France and I both feel is that if this text is to be amended further, it should be amended in order to come to an agreed conclusion. And if there is no prospect of an agreed conclusion we won't be amending the text," Jones Parry said.

Moscow would like to cut a provision that weapons of mass destruction constitute "a threat to international peace and security" because it could lead to a action under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which makes demands mandatory and can lead to sanctions or even military action, China said. (Emphasis mine)
Russia backs down from a statement that mandates sanctions or even military action against a Rogue terrorist sponsor that wants the bomb. Brilliant!

Russia's desire for nuclear production contracts and Natural gas doesn't justify refusing to enforce International security. China's cynical go-along simply encourages Iran to discount the seriousness of the West's objections to the Mullachracy's illegitimate nuclear program. Appeasement doesn't work. If Russia believes that Al Qaeda franchises among the Chechnyians will give them a pass for enabling Iran's malfeasance, then someone had better check the water in the Kremlin. Not. Going. To. Happen.

Decisive action by the UNSC sends the message that unstable dictatorships have no business being in the nuclear business. Unfortunately, the only business the Security Council did today was business as usual.