Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 13:40:44 PM EST
I've said a few times in comments recently that I'm pretty optimistic, from my antiwar and similar perspective, on the Iran and sanctions issue. The reasons are various, but centered on the analysis of India career diplomat M K Bhadrakumar, who also believes the sanctions effort will fail. More on those ideas a couple paragraphs down.
As for my perspective, first of all, not that it's stopped the U.S. before but there is pretty much zero justification for U.S. saber-rattling, as indicated by the mundane headlines (i.e., Iran vows to stick with low-level nuclear enrichment) only two days after the three imperials (Obama, Sarkozy, Brown) news conference about a 'secret' low-grade nuclear 'facility' that was neither secret nor a facility, since it won't be a functioning one till construction ends 18 months from now. This is weak soup for crippling sanctions, naval blockades, and worse. Today, even weaker stuff, 'IRAN TESTS (short-range) MISSILES! Oh my gawd y-a-w-n, weak stuff for scaring us up and dealing death.
Secondly, and Bhadrakumar's analysis is critical here, despite Beltway pundits fishing for wish fulfillment, both China (emphatically) and Russia oppose sanctions on Iran. And this time the U.S. needs international cover, imho, or its 'X must prove it doesn't have WMD' campaign (Hillary Clinton) won't have the outcome (severe sanctions and an attack on Iran's nuclear power facilities) desired by the U.S. & Israeli military-industrial complexes.
Bhadrakumar makes three major points in Moscow holds the line on Iran sanctions:
| fairleft :: Sorry Israel, no Iran war or crippling sanctions 4U
|1. Russia's Medvedev has not meaningfully shifted from his pre-missile-radar-removal stance on sanctions:
The big question, therefore, is whether Medvedev's remark that "in some cases sanctions are inevitable" represents a policy shift by Moscow. Has Obama "wrung a concession" from Medvedev to consider tough new sanctions against Iran - to use the words of New York Times' Helene Cooper? . . .
Surely, there is no tectonic shift in the Russian position on Iran. Arguably, there is nothing new in what Medvedev said in New York. He said much the same in a meeting with the West's Russia experts a month ago [and also in a Russian proposal September 9; sanctions have always been on the table as a very last resort]; he then explained it at some length in the CNN interview.
Bhadrakumar's perspective was confirmed yesterday by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in another nicely headlined article, Russia Urges Restraint Over Iran Nuclear News:
Lavrov . . . questioned assumptions that Tehran was hiding anything and accused Western governments of withholding knowledge of a second Iranian uranium-enrichment plant.
"As far as I understand there's no clarity regarding the legal aspects of this situation," Lavrov said. "I don't want to go into legalistic analysis -- it has to be provided by IAEA -- but don't forget that Iran did notify the agency about its intentions, about its plans to construct a new facility, and we are convinced that whatever is being constructed under the Iranian nuclear program must be brought under the monitoring of IAEA."
Lavrov's statements appeared aimed at easing pressure on Moscow to take a tougher line against Iran when the UN Security Council's veto-wielding members meet next week . . .
2. China, likely coordinating its stance with Russia, continues to strongly oppose sanctions.
"We always believe that sanctions and pressure are not the way out. At present, it is not conducive to diplomatic efforts," Jiang [Yu, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson] said at a briefing in Beijing on Thursday.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi also repeated Beijing's stance that the issue of Iran's nuclear program was best resolved peacefully through dialogue. Given the close coordination by Moscow and Beijing on major international issues, China wouldn't have spoken out of turn.
3. The anti-nuclear proliferation resolution already shows the sanctioneering imperialists fail versus Russia and China:
In the final analysis, the new UN Security Council resolution passed on Thursday calling for an end to nuclear proliferation did not name Iran - despite robust canvassing by the US and Britain - and that was because Russia and China wouldn't allow that to happen. Also, the resolution stopped well short of authorizing forced inspections of countries believed to be developing weapons.
Where would no meaningful sanctions on Iran plus the U.S. pull back on missile and radar facilities in Eastern Europe leave the world? In a more peaceful, common-sense place, a place where the military option is considerably more off the table than it was a few months ago.
Could it be that St. Barack has hoped for exactly the coming scenario to transpire, and that in a couple weeks he will report to AIPAC and Israel that "I tried my best, but Russia and China blocked me. Please don't cut off the campaign contributions, nothing could be done! But yeah, sorry we couldn't get your war on. Peace."
P.S. -- In looking for Bhadrakumar stuff, found this essential atimes article: Fabrication of anti-Iran nuclear 'evidence' covered up. Here's an excerpt:
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says its present objective regarding Iran is to try to determine whether the intelligence documents purportedly showing a covert Iranian nuclear weapons program from 2001 to 2003 are authentic or not. The problem, according to its reports, is that Iran refuses to help clarify the issue.
But the IAEA has refused to acknowledge publicly significant evidence brought to its attention by Iran that the documents were fabricated, and has made little, if any, effort to test the authenticity of the intelligence documents or to question officials of the governments holding them, Inter Press Service (IPS) has learned.
[For example,] Iran has submitted serious evidence that the documents are fraudulent. Iran's permanent representative to the United Nations in Vienna, Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told IPS. He said he had pointed out to a team of IAEA officials in a meeting on the documents in Tehran in early 2008 that none of the supposedly top-secret military documents had any security markings of any kind, and that purported letters from Defense Ministry officials lacked Iranian government seals.