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June 09, 2010

Yawn: UN Security Council Votes For More Sanctions Against Iran UPDATE: Just How Weak These So Called "Sanctions" Are

It's the 4th round of sanctions, so I guess we're into 'deep concern' territory. Up next, 'deeply troubled'.

The Obama administration succeeded in securing support for sanctions from the council's major powers, including China and Russia, by ensuring that the measure would not impair their ability to trade with Iran. But the four-year-long campaign faced new challenges from regional powerhouses Brazil and Turkey, which have used the Iran crisis to assert their role on the diplomatic stage.

The 10-page resolution would modestly reinforce a range of economic, high-technology and military sanctions against Iran and target the head of the of Iranian atomic energy agency, Javad Rahiqi, and 40 entities linked to the nation's military elite, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, with a travel ban and an asset freeze. Iran has repeatedly rebuffed calls to halt its uranium-enrichment program; Iranian leaders say their efforts are entirely peaceful, but the United States and others say Iran is set on building a bomb.

The resolution falls short of the "crippling sanctions" Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged to impose on Iran a year ago. But U.S. officials hailed Wednesday's vote as a show of international resolve in the face of Iran's continued defiance of Security Council resolutions demanding it suspend its uranium-enrichment program and fully cooperate.

Turkey and Brazil voted no. They are probably angry that their deal with Iran was rejected. And as far as Turkey goes, the fact that they are increasingly Islamic leaning and aggressive in asserting themselves in the region obviously is the big factor here.

Lebanon, Iran's puppet via Syria, abstained.

Obama is now going on about how tough these actions are. He keeps talking about how Iran has rights we recognize and how wonderful everything will be when Iran simply acknowledges its responsibilities.

He also just said, "these sanctions do not close the door to diplomacy". Oh good, I was so worried about that.

Iran hasn't responded yet but I'm guessing they won't be saying "sorry, let's go for some ice cream". My money is on bluster from Ahmadinejad and maybe some missile launches.


UPDATE: This piece was written before the vote but it outlines the alleged measures the UN was willing to take today.

The new draft resolution displays in the clearest possible terms the contrast between the administration's boundless faith in international institutions and reality. The White House considers it a major accomplishment that the resolution simply names the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), Iran's principal maritime shipping company. The resolution also includes entities acting on behalf of the IRGC and IRISL, as well as entities that are owned or controlled by them. However, the draft resolution falls short of actually mandating international action against these entities.

The new sanctions will only require countries to block IRGC or IRISL assets if these entities are proven to be engaged in activities that are "proliferation sensitive." In other words, if a country does not catch them red-handed while shipping centrifuges to Iran, it does not have to act.

The same qualification applies to the financial-services sanctions, which include a prohibition on opening new banks, branches of Iranian banks, and correspondent relationships. The sanctions only apply if there are grounds to believe a specific financial transaction relates to proliferation-sensitive activities. The Central Bank of Iran is mentioned only in passing, and the resolution only "encourages" countries to exercise vigilance over its transactions.

And on and on and on. Read the whole sad story for all the details.

No one, least of all anyone in Tehran takes this garbage seriously. Yet, Obama and Hillary will run around proclaiming they have struck a mighty blow against Iran and its weapons programs.

It seems the real target of these so called "sanctions" is Israel. Obama will use this fig leaf to demand that Netanyahu not attack Iran but rather give the sanctions time to work. Naturally, there's always a chance they will work tomorrow, so that time is never ending. When the pressure builds up again from Israrel or because of some gross action by Iran not even Obama can ignore, we'll start the whole process again because the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, next time is the charm!


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posted by DrewM. at 12:53 PM

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