|06-09-2010, 03:40 PM||#1|
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Join Date: Apr 2006
new sanctions against Iran
UN council hits defiant Iran with new sanctions
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
The UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions on a defiant Iran today over a nuclear programme the West suspects is aimed at developing the means to build atom bombs.
The 15-nation council passed a resolution that was the product of five months of talks between the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia. With 12 votes in favour, it received the least support of the four Iran sanctions resolutions adopted since 2006.
The four Western powers had wanted much tougher measures - some targeting Iran's energy sector - but Beijing and Moscow succeeded in diluting the steps outlined in the 10-page resolution.
"This council has risen to its responsibilities. Now Iran should choose a wiser course," US. Ambassador Susan Rice told the council after the vote.
Iran denies Western allegations that it is seeking nuclear weapons, insisting that its uranium enrichment programme is for peaceful energy purposes only.
The resolution calls for measures against new Iranian banks abroad if a connection to the nuclear or missile programmes is suspected, as well as vigilance over transactions with any Iranian bank, including the central bank.
It also expands a UN arms embargo against Tehran and blacklists three firms controlled by Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and 15 belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The resolution also calls for setting up a cargo inspection regime similar to one in place for North Korea.
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday that individual states will likely move quickly to pass their own measures that go beyond the UN sanctions.
Annexed to the draft resolution is a list of 40 companies to be added to an existing UN blacklist of firms whose assets around the world are to be frozen on suspicion of aiding Iran's nuclear or missile programmes.
The new blacklist includes only one individual, Javad Rahiqi, head of an Iranian nuclear centre where uranium is processed. His assets will also be blocked and he will face an international travel ban.
The focus of heated last-minute negotiations, the new blacklist that emerged yesterday morning contained 41 firms, including two banks. By the end of the day China had demanded the deletion of one bank, the Export Development Bank of Iran.
Brazil and Turkey voted against the resolution. Their UN envoys said before the vote that they saw no reason for more sanctions against Tehran.
Turkey and Brazil last month revived parts of a plan brokered by UN nuclear inspectors in October for Tehran to part with 1,200 kg of low enriched uranium (LEU) return for special fuel rods for a medical research reactor.
They said the deal bolstered the case against sanctions. But the United States, Britain, France and Germany say the deal did nothing to change Tehran's refusal to suspend uranium enrichment in defiance of five Security Council resolutions.
Lebanon had made clear it was unable to support the resolution because the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah is in the government. It abstained in the vote.
Iran's LEU proposal also raised concerns, Russia, France and the United States said in a note to the UN watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency, diplomats said today.
Iran had proposed to part with no more LEU - potential atomic bomb material if enriched to a very high purity level - than it did under the original October deal, even though its LEU stockpile had almost doubled since then, they said. Iran had also begun refining uranium to a higher level in February.
The first two Iran sanctions resolutions, adopted in 2006 and 2007, passed unanimously. The council approved a third set of sanctions in 2008 with 14 "Yes" votes and one abstention.
Three rounds of punitive measures aimed at Iran's nuclear and missile industries have hit its economy hard but failed to persuade its leadership to halt its nuclear program or come to the negotiating table.
Instead, Iran continues to enrich uranium at increasingly higher levels, despite occasional hints of possible military action against its nuclear sites by Israel or Washington.
Iran's UN ambassador, Mohammad Khazaee said yesterday that the push for sanctions showed that some "prefer confrontation" and Iran would react in an "appropriate" way.
|06-09-2010, 03:47 PM||#2|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Apr 2006
You have to wonder WTF is going on. Last month Brazil and Turkey worked out a deal with Iran that conformed to the terms identified by none other than Obama himself.
Yet no sooner was the deal inked than the US turned its back on the compromise.
Makes me wonder if Obama is really in charge. So does his toothless reaction to the oil blow out in the Gulf - -and also his continuing silence about Israel's attack on the aid flotilla. MHG
June 9, 2010
Extending Hands or Clenching Fists?
Obama's Doublespeak on Iran
By ESAM AL-AMIN
On April 12, 2010, President Barack Obama hosted a forty-seven nation Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. He met with dozens of heads of state making his case for a fourth set of crippling sanctions on Iran because of its intransigence on the nuclear issue. His main argument was the refusal of Iran to accept the proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of transferring the bulk of Iran’s low enriched uranium outside the country in exchange for medical nuclear isotopes.
The following day Obama met with President Luiz Lula Da Silva of Brazil and Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan of Turkey. Both countries are currently members of the UN Security Council, considered friends of the US and are emerging economic and regional powers.
Lula and Erdogan emphasized to the US president the importance of a diplomatic resolution to Iran’s nuclear issue in an effort to diffuse the crisis and build confidence-building measures for further negotiations. During the meeting Obama not only encouraged them to pursue a diplomatic breakthrough, but he also vowed to be constructive and flexible, as well as promising to send them in writing the parameters of any deal deemed acceptable to the US.
Encouraged by the American response, the Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davuto?lu flew to Brazil on April 16 to meet with its president in order to coordinate their diplomatic efforts in a last ditch effort to persuade Iran to accept the IAEA proposal. By April 20, the Turkish foreign minister was in Tehran testing the waters regarding a possible resolution to the crisis.
As promised, Obama sent two separate letters on April 20 to Lula and Erdogan detailing the US parameters of a possible deal. He wrote that his proposal represented “a detailed explanation” of his perspective and offered “a suggestion of a way ahead.” He said that his offer was based on the proposal put forth by former IAEA Director General Mohammad ElBaradei, which he characterized in the letter as “fair and balanced,” and would enable “both sides to gain trust and confidence.”
In his letter, Obama detailed four conditions for any resolution to be satisfactory to the US. The first condition was “Iran’s agreement to transfer 1,200 kg of Iran’s low enriched uranium (LEU) out of the country.” He emphasized that this condition was essential and non-negotiable.
Second, he demonstrated his willingness to be “flexible and creative in order to build mutual confidence” by agreeing “to support and facilitate action on proposal that would provide Iran nuclear fuel using uranium enriched by Iran,” a crucial demand by Iran which it has always insisted was its right under the NPT treaty.
Third, Obama offered his acceptance to the compromise suggested by the IAEA last November by allowing “Iran to ship its 1,200 kg of LEU to a third country,” suggesting Turkey as the designated country. He went further by offering assurance to Iran that its fuel would be held “in escrow” in Turkey “as a guarantee during the fuel production process that Iran would get back its uranium if we failed to deliver the fuel.”
His final condition was that Iran has to convey to the IAEA in writing its “constructive commitment to engagement through official channels.”
Armed with the concrete American conditions and after receiving a positive response to negotiate, conveyed to Davuto?lu by the Iranian leadership, the foreign minister of Brazil Celso Amorim flew to Iran a week later on April 27, to prepare for a state visit by Lula to hammer out a final agreement based on the American proposal.
The Brazilian president arrived in Tehran on May 15 and was joined by the Turkish prime minister the following day. In an 18-hour negotiation marathon session, the two world leaders impressed on the Iranian leadership the significance of accepting all four parameters outlined in Obama’s letter.
On May 17, an agreement based on the American and IAEA proposals was signed by the foreign ministers of all three countries. A week later Iran submitted an official letter to the IAEA acknowledging the pact and stating its intention to transfer its LEU to Turkey within one month once the plan was accepted.
To the complete surprise of Brazil and Turkey, the White House and the State Department dismissed the deal out of hand within 24 hours, rejecting the same principles outlined in Obama’s letter. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even called it “a ploy” before a hearing in the Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations on May 18, declaring that a sanctions resolution against Iran in the Security Council is imminent.
In an interview on June 3 in Jornal do Brasil, a major newspaper in Brazil, ElBaradei expressed his profound disappointment and surprise at the American reaction. He explained that the proposal signed in Iran was the same as his proposal, which was accepted by the West in the past.
Further, he explained that “if you remove over half of the material that Iran has to Turkey, that is clearly a confidence-building measure regarding concerns about Iran’s future intentions.” As for the remainder of the nuclear-enriched material in Iran he stated that, “the material that will remain in Iran is under IAEA safeguards and seals. There is absolutely no imminent threat that Iran is going to develop the bomb tomorrow from the material that they have in Iran.”
The refusal of the Obama administration to embrace its own proposals not only undermines its credibility before its foes but also confuses its friends such as Brazil and Turkey. Obama was elected on the promise of hope and change by offering the international community, especially the Muslim World, new politics based on honesty and mutual respect.
In his inaugural address, repeated in the Cairo speech, Obama said regarding Iran “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” But in Elbaradei’s view, it was the US that has clenched its fist when Iran stretched its hand.
The former IAEA head effectively exposed Obama’s doublespeak in the same interview to the Brazilian paper by declaring that the deal signed in Tehran “should be perceived as a first good confidence measure, a first effort by Iran to stretch its hand and say we are ready to negotiate.”
Esam Al-Amin can be reached at email@example.com
Last edited by mhgaffney; 06-09-2010 at 03:49 PM..