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Iran to be reported to the UN Security Council?
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, January 31, 2006

An interesting and, at least to me, unexpected development:
The permanent five members of the U.N. Security Council agreed on Tuesday that this week's meeting of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog should report Iran to the Council over its nuclear programs, said a statement from the five.

"(Ministers) agreed that this week's extraordinary IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Board meeting should report to the Security Council its decision on the steps required of Iran," said a joint statement after the meeting between the foreign ministers of China, Russia, the United States, France and Britain as well as Germany and the European Union's foreign policy chief.

A senior U.S. official said the statement meant Russia and China were on board with the United States and the European powers that there must be strong action taken by the IAEA on Thursday or Friday against Iran to prevent Tehran from building a nuclear bomb.

"This is the most powerful message we could have hoped for," said a senior U.S. official, who read out the statement after the four-hour dinner at which the ministers agreed to report Iran to the Council.
I had noted previously that I had no expectation of either China or Russia supporting such a move. This is step one in any process to impose international sanctions on Iran (and demonstrates some good, behind the scenes work by the State Dept. and Condi Rice). It should also further impress Iran that, with their nominal allies in the matter, Russia and China supporting the action, they are indeed increasingly isolating themselves from the international community and that is a serious problem for them.

Now, I'm skeptical, bordering on cynical, about the resolve of the western nations and the effectiveness of the UN. On the other side of that, I'm hopeful, not optimistic, but hopeful, that some sort of diplomatic settlement vs. an armed confrontation, can settle this dispute and move Iran away from nuclear arms. The fact is that this call for the IAEA to report Iran to the Security Council at least demonstrates, for the moment, the diplomatic will exists. This type of solidarity is mandatory for any such solution to have a chance.

However, there are some who are saying Iran has the bomb and we're simply negotiating the closure of the barn door after the nuclear horse has fled:
Rafi Eitan suspects that Iran already has enough enriched uranium fissionable material to manufacture at least one or two atom bombs of the Hiroshima type. "Otherwise Iranian President Ahmadinejad would not have dared come out with his declaration that Israel should be wiped off the map," repeating it in various versions. His efforts at denying the Holocaust in which six million Jews were slaughtered prove that there is method in Ahmadinejad's madness. "Don't treat him like a madman," Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz recently cautioned.

Eitan's assessment of the situation is especially important because of his extensive intelligence experience in Israel's struggle for its existence, even before its establishment in 1948. Eitan was among those that laid the operational foundations for the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Mossad.
I have no idea if this is mere surmisal on Eitan's part or he's actually plugged in enough to be making a pretty scientific wild-assed guess. North Korea certainly had the bomb long before we verified that.

Eitan points out that Iran has its own natural uranium deposits and has been centrifuging uranium for years. If so, it's entirely possible he's correct and one or two Hiroshima-type nuclear weapons may indeed exist. But that doesn't remove the absolute necessity for a united front against Iran by the rest of the world. The only difference I'd make is to insist any future negotiations be based on the assumption that Iran does indeed have a nuclear weapons capability and proceed from there.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Was a suprise to me, too, since I agreed with your take that Russia and China would never hear of it.

When someone acts in an unpredictable manner like that, it’s usually bast to assume they know something you don’t. For example, if a driver somewhere in front of you, jams on his brakes, while you can see no reason for it, it’s still best to assume he knows something you don’t.

So, in the case of Iran visavie’ China and Russia, I wonder what it is that they know, that would cause this unexpected turn. And it seems to me their long-held financial/trading interests would make them privy to info we haven’t got. It’s a sure bet they’d not make such a move based on honesty, or that it’d benefit the US; they’d not make any move unless either they had something to gain, or nothing to lose.

And I wonder which.
Written By: Bithead
Shouldn’t the title of this post be "So What?" — Iran will be quaking in its collective sandals every bit as much as Saddam was at the nasty, brutish, harshly worded U.N. resolutions directed at them. I expect that such resolutions will be equally effective in altering Iran’s course of action.
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://
Hey McQ, with folks like Rafi Eitan on the job, I think we all can relax a little.

We can’t know the impact of China and Russia’s new concurrence with American efforts, but it marks a significant foreign policy success for Bush’s team. This should be a multilateral effort that any "Global Test-er" can love.

If Bitt and I had been flies in the room...

Condi probably reminded Russia that the Bear needs to start helping us enforce the NPT, or America will have ample reason to question Russia’s committment to our other mutual disarmament protocols. Then she let them decide.

She may have nudged China’s leaders with some geopolitical realities: Iran will be embargoed raising Shanghai’s energy costs overnight. And a domestic one: America’s electorate has an historic protectionist streak that is currently exacerbated by GM and Ford’s layoffs, and the anti-free-trade factions in our legislature are itching to levy duties on Chinese imports.

"Remember the Steel Tariffs," she said, as she uncrossed her legs - and then she let them decide.

It’s those black boots, Condi.
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
MichaelW: I understand your point and even acknowledged it at a couple of places in the post. But, as I think about this further, I wonder if some of what Steve points out as well as the Hamas victory in Palestine haven’t had Russia and China necessarily rethink their foreign policy as pertains Iran.

It doesn’t at all guarantee the "big 5" will stay the course on this, but it is still a remarkable change to see them at least united at this time against Iran. Like I said, it wasn’t expected.

Where that leads, if anywhere, is anyone’s guess. But it is still quite a change from the expected.
Written By: McQ
Obviously my cynicism with respect to the efficacy of the U.N. is showing through. Whatever other geopolitical maneuvering may be happening, I’m rather convinced of the fact that the U.N. will not be at the forefront of solving this problem, and will likely serve merely as the setting for political feints and dodges. Weren’t many of the Security Council resolutions condemning Saddam unanimous?

That being said, if China and Russia (finally) find it in their own best interests to oppose Iranian nuclear ambitions I’ll happily discard my skepticism. However, I can’t help but think that China and Russia see Iran as a sword to be used against the West and America in particular. Surely Iran sees America as a bigger threat, and more a symbolic enemy, than either China or Russia. As our economic, diplomatic and territorial interests continue to conflict with those of Russia and China, Iran looms ever greater in their arsenal of anti-U.S. weapons.

IMHO, of course.
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://
Still I am reminded of the scene between Hans Blix and Kim Jong-Il in Team America...
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
China and Russia, permanent members of the security council and holders of veto power over all its actions, agreed to refer Iran to... the security council! How exactly does this constitute progress?

The most realistic likely explanation for this is that China and Russia are seeking to increase their leverage over Iran for their own purposes. They will not allow the UN to act, but they can use the UN to gain concessions from Iran.

Written By: sammler
If the UN imposes sanctions on Iran and the EU and US in a mind to enforce them, that leaves Russia and China as smugglers extraordinaire to ostracized Iran.

Just saying.

Yours, TDP, ml, msp, & pfpp
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
"US in" /= "US are in" TDP
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I think Condi convinced the Russians and Chinese that GEORGE W BUSH WOULD GO IT ALONE AGAIN IF HE HAD TO. They have concluded that the US could and would depose the Mullahs, and that a US friendly Iran would not be in their interest.
Written By: stickman
Geesh guys, I tried to tell you Iran had the bomb a week ago.
Written By: Dan
Geesh guys, I tried to tell you Iran had the bomb a week ago.
Yeah, well some of are just slow Dan.


Weren’t you the guy that told us Iraq had WMDs?!

Just kidding.
Written By: McQ
When is Israel gonna get reported for their nukes?
Written By: Tish
URL: http://

First, Israel did not sign the NPT, so they can’t get reported. Second, do you realize that Israel is a very small country (smaller in area than New Jersey) surrounded by enemies sworn to exterminate its population?
Written By: Charles D. Quarles

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