Friday, January 13, 2006
Unity on Iran?
But the Scotsman is reporting that, at present, there is no consensus between Britain, France and China over what to do next; while the British are angling for referral to the Security Council with an eye to imposing sanctions, the French want to concentrate on the IAEA meeting and the Chinese are already making noises that this issue shouldn't even be brought to the Council for discussion.
Iran is a classic case of a problem that is given different priority by different powers. No major power wants a nuclear Iran, that is very true. But that doesn't mean that the question--which many people feel will be the defining problem of U.S. foreign policy in 2006--is seen by other powers as their most pressing concern, or that the threat posed by a nuclear-capable Iran is equally threatening to each power. I've always felt that China and Russia would be prepared to live with a nuclear-capable Iran, since they've already adjusted to India and Pakistan having the bomb (and the Indian nuclear program is more directly threatening to China and extremists hostile to Russia would be much more likely to get a nuclear device from Pakistan, particularly if the current government falls, than from Iran, whose mullahs have never backed Chechen or other Caucasian radical movements). The EU-3 is currently dealing with the humiliation of having their diplomatic efforts come to naught and not being able to hand Washington and the Bush Administration a victory for European diplomatic superiority--so referral to the Security Council may be something they agree upon, but beyond that I think the consensus breaks down.
Getting a general statement of concern passed the Security Council, fine, but stronger action, not at this point, unless Ahmednejad continues his track record of stupidity. Interesting to see, by the way, whether Iran's "Supreme Leader" will at some point feel the need to step in, or whether Rafsanjani will use the current president's diplomatic blunders as a way to force him from power.
was one of the major reasons for the USSR collapse. If Iraq did not teach US elites anything, well, let them invade Iran.
All the components for the recipe are there: double deficit, stronger euro, pension and real testate balloons. We are missing a military component...
If you go into the efficacy of an embargo in your spring issue, then perhaps we should wait a month or so for your view there. But if you can say anything right now about economic sanctions I would be very interested to know what you think.