Iran Resolution Goes to Security Council

Britain and France yesterday introduced a resolution in the U.N. Security Council
demanding Iran abandon uranium enrichment
or face sanctions.

Over Chinese and Russian opposition, Western nations circulated a U.N. Security Council resolution that would demand Iran abandon uranium enrichment or face the threat of unspecified further measures, a possible reference to sanctions. Britain and France, backed by the United States, hope to wrap up negotiations on the legally binding resolution before a meeting of foreign ministers in New York on Monday. However, diplomats acknowledged that resistance from China and Russia may prolong talks well beyond that.

[…]

The resolution was written under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which makes any demands mandatory and allows for the use of sanctions — and possibly force — if they are not obeyed. Any sanctions would require another resolution. That could force a showdown with Russia, which has arms and technology deals with Iran, as well as China. Both nations have said they adamantly oppose tough council action, including sanctions, and the two could use their veto power on the council to block it. “I don’t think this draft as it stands now will produce good results,” China’s U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said as he emerged from the Security Council meeting where the draft was introduced. “I think it’s tougher than expected.”

This demonstrates, once again, the futility of the Security Council. With five countries with such disparate interests having a veto power over the taking of meaningful action, it is almost impossible to get anything done. This is true even in cases, like this one, where all five agree on the desired outcome.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. LJD says:

    Deja Vu…

    When do we preempt accusations over ‘lying’ about WMD by simply ignoring the ‘intelligence’?

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    I’m for taking Reza Pahlavi’s suggestion: “smart”, highly-targeted sanctions that the Russians and Chinese simply can’t refuse.