Sunday, March 25, 2007



THE CRISIS WITH PERSIA: A DIPLOMATIC UPDATE


Security Council SC/8980

"Determined to constrain Iran’s development of sensitive technologies in support of its nuclear and missile programmes, the Security Council today widened the scope of its December 2006 sanctions against Iran by banning the country’s arms exports and freezing the assets and restricting the travel of additional individuals engaged in the country’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1747 (2007), submitted by France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the Council affirmed its decision that Iran should, without further delay, suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Under a related provision, the Council requested a report within 60 days from the IAEA Director General on whether Iran had established such full and sustained suspension, as well as on the process of Iranian compliance with all other steps required by the Agency’s Board of Governors and the other provisions of resolution 1737 (2006) and this resolution.

The Council also called on all States to report to the Committee set up in December to monitor implementation of the sanctions first established under resolution 1737, within 60 days of adoption of the present text, on the steps they had taken to implement the provisions that concerned them.

It also expressed its conviction that the suspension set out in resolution 1737, as well as full, verified Iranian compliance with the IAEA Board of Governor’s requirements, would contribute to a diplomatic negotiated solution that guaranteed that Iran’s nuclear programme was for exclusively peaceful purposes.

In that connection, the Council underlined the willingness of the international community to work positively for such a solution, and it encouraged Iran, in conforming with those provisions, to re-engage with the international community and IAEA, stressing that such engagement would be beneficial.

The Security Council met today to take action on the draft resolution contained in document S/2007/170, sponsored by France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The text reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Recalling the Statement of its President, S/PRST/2006/15, of 29 March 2006, and its resolution 1696 (2006) of 31 July 2006, and its resolution 1737 (2006) of 23 December 2006, and reaffirming their provisions,

“Reaffirming its commitment to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the need for all States party to that Treaty to comply fully with all their obligations, and recalling the right of States parties, in conformity with articles I and II of that Treaty, to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination,

“Recalling its serious concern over the reports of the IAEA Director General as set out in its resolutions 1696 (2006) and 1737 (2006),

“Recalling the latest report by the IAEA Director General (GOV/2007/8) of 22 February 2007 and deploring that, as indicated therein, Iran has failed to comply with resolution 1696 (2006) and resolution 1737 (2006),

“Emphasizing the importance of political and diplomatic efforts to find a negotiated solution guaranteeing that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes, and noting that such a solution would benefit nuclear non-proliferation elsewhere, and welcoming the continuing commitment of China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the support of the European Union’s High Representative, to seek a negotiated solution,

“Recalling the resolution of the IAEA Board of Governors (GOV/2006/14), which states that a solution to the Iranian nuclear issue would contribute to global non-proliferation efforts and to realizing the objective of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, including their means of delivery,

“Determined to give effect to its decisions by adopting appropriate measures to persuade Iran to comply with resolution 1696 (2006) and resolution 1737 (2006) and with the requirements of the IAEA, and also to constrain Iran’s development of sensitive technologies in support of its nuclear and missile programmes, until such time as the Security Council determines that the objectives of these resolutions have been met,

“Recalling the requirement on States to join in affording mutual assistance in carrying out the measures decided upon by the Security Council,

“Concerned by the proliferation risks presented by the Iranian nuclear programme and, in this context, by Iran’s continuing failure to meet the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors and to comply with the provisions of Security Council resolutions 1696 (2006) and 1737 (2006), mindful of its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security,

“Acting under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1. Reaffirms that Iran shall without further delay take the steps required by the IAEA Board of Governors in its resolution GOV/2006/14, which are essential to build confidence in the exclusively peaceful purpose of its nuclear programme and to resolve outstanding questions and, in this context, affirms its decision that Iran shall without further delay take the steps required in paragraph 2 of resolution 1737 (2006);

“2. Calls upon all States also to exercise vigilance and restraint regarding the entry into or transit through their territories of individuals who are engaged in, directly associated with or providing support for Iran’s proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or for the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, and decides in this regard that all States shall notify the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 18 of resolution 1737 (2006) (herein “the Committee”) of the entry into or transit through their territories of the persons designated in the Annex to resolution 1737 (2006) or Annex I to this resolution, as well as of additional persons designated by the Security Council or the Committee as being engaged in, directly associated with or providing support for Iran’s proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or for the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems, including through the involvement in procurement of the prohibited items, goods, equipment, materials and technology specified by and under the measures in paragraphs 3 and 4 of resolution 1737 (2006), except where such travel is for activities directly related to the items in subparagraphs 3 (b) (i) and (ii) of that resolution;

"3. Underlines that nothing in the above paragraph requires a State to refuse its own nationals entry into its territory, and that all States shall, in the implementation of the above paragraph, take into account humanitarian considerations, including religious obligations, as well as the necessity to meet the objectives of this resolution and resolution 1737 (2006), including where article XV of the IAEA Statute is engaged;

“4. Decides that the measures specified in paragraphs 12, 13, 14 and 15 of resolution 1737 (2006) shall apply also to the persons and entities listed in Annex I to this resolution;

"5. Decides that Iran shall not supply, sell or transfer directly or indirectly from its territory or by its nationals or using its flag vessels or aircraft any arms or related materiel, and that all States shall prohibit the procurement of such items from Iran by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, and whether or not originating in the territory of Iran;

“6. Calls upon all States to exercise vigilance and restraint in the supply, sale or transfer directly or indirectly from their territories or by their nationals or using their flag vessels or aircraft of any battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems as defined for the purpose of the United Nations Register on Conventional Arms to Iran, and in the provision to Iran of any technical assistance or training, financial assistance, investment, brokering or other services, and the transfer of financial resources or services, related to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture or use of such items in order to prevent a destabilising accumulation of arms;

“7. Calls upon all States and international financial institutions not to enter into new commitments for grants, financial assistance, and concessional loans, to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, except for humanitarian and developmental purposes;

“8. Calls upon all States to report to the Committee within 60 days of the adoption of this resolution on the steps they have taken with a view to implementing effectively paragraphs 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 above;

“9. Expresses the conviction that the suspension set out in paragraph 2 of resolution 1737 (2006), as well as full, verified Iranian compliance with the requirements set out by the IAEA Board of Governors would contribute to a diplomatic, negotiated solution that guarantees Iran’s nuclear programme is for exclusively peaceful purposes, underlines the willingness of the international community to work positively for such a solution, encourages Iran, in conforming to the above provisions, to re-engage with the international community and with the IAEA, and stresses that such engagement will be beneficial to Iran;

“10. Welcomes the continuous affirmation of the commitment of China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the support of the European Union’s High Representative, to a negotiated solution to this issue and encourages Iran to engage with their June 2006 proposals (S/2006/521), attached in Annex II to this resolution, which were endorsed by the Security Council in resolution 1696 (2006), and acknowledges with appreciation that this offer to Iran remains on the table, for a long-term comprehensive agreement which would allow for the development of relations and cooperation with Iran based on mutual respect and the establishment of international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme;

“11. Reiterates its determination to reinforce the authority of the IAEA, strongly supports the role of the IAEA Board of Governors, commends and encourages the Director General of the IAEA and its secretariat for their ongoing professional and impartial efforts to resolve all outstanding issues in Iran within the framework of the IAEA, underlines the necessity of the IAEA, which is internationally recognized as having authority for verifying compliance with safeguards agreements, including the non-diversion of nuclear material for non-peaceful purposes, in accordance with its Statute, to continue its work to clarify all outstanding issues relating to Iran’s nuclear programme;

“12. Requests within 60 days a further report from the Director General of the IAEA on whether Iran has established full and sustained suspension of all activities mentioned in resolution 1737 (2006), as well as on the process of Iranian compliance with all the steps required by the IAEA Board and with the other provisions of resolution 1737 (2006) and of this resolution, to the IAEA Board of Governors and in parallel to the Security Council for its consideration;

“13. Affirms that it shall review Iran’s actions in light of the report referred to in paragraph 12 above, to be submitted within 60 days, and:

(a) that it shall suspend the implementation of measures if and for so long as Iran suspends all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, as verified by the IAEA, to allow for negotiations in good faith in order to reach an early and mutually acceptable outcome;

(b) that it shall terminate the measures specified in paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 12 of resolution 1737 (2006) as well as in paragraphs 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 above as soon as it determines, following receipt of the report referred to in paragraph 12 above, that Iran has fully complied with its obligations under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and met the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors, as confirmed by the IAEA Board;

(c) that it shall, in the event that the report in paragraph 12 above shows that Iran has not complied with resolution 1737 (2006) and this resolution, adopt further appropriate measures under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations to persuade Iran to comply with these resolutions and the requirements of the IAEA, and underlines that further decisions will be required should such additional measures be necessary;

“14. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

In www.un.org.

The above action by the United Nation's, although weaker than it might have been is enough to indicate to the Persian regime in Teheran, that it will not go unpunished if it continues with its nuclear programme. While one may gainsay the above by saying (correctly enough) that the sanctions are without real economic impact on the mass of the population of Persia, this truism ignores the fact that the existing sanctions have already had an impact, both psychological and economic on the economy of the regime (for more on the economic woes, which have increased in the last eight months due to both official and unofficial, read American economic sanctions, see: www.ft.com). Contrary to commentators such as Ray Takeyh, who a short while ago, were stating that Persia was an iron colossus, ready to sweep all before it in the region, anyone who has even a fair knowledge of the regime, knows that it is quite weak. Weak economically (what can what one say for a country where perhaps several hundred people a year die due to the lack of spare parts for its aging air fleet, not to speak of perhaps the irony it might have to commence rationing gasoline?). Weak militarily, as per the militarily expert, Mr. Anthony Cordesman, Persia, could not even close down the Straits of Hormuz, for more than a few hours, if that (for Cordesman on Persia and its military, see: www.csis.org).

Notwithstanding the statement by the Persian foreign minister to the Security Council, that:

"pressure and intimidation would not change Iranian [Persian] policy. If certain countries had pinned their hopes that repeated resolutions would 'dent the resolution of the Great Iranian [Persian] nation', they should have no doubt that they had 'once again faced catastrophic and analytical failure vis-`a-vis the Iranian [Persian] People's Islamic Revolution....Even the harshest political and economic sanctions or other threats were 'far too weak to coerce the Iranian [Persian] nation to retreat from their legal and legitimate demands".
See: www.un.org.news.

It would appear that the regime is in fact, quite concerned about both its support in the outside world (hence the vitriolic reaction to Russia's recent moves, backing away from Teheran), and, by the weakening economic situation internally. It is perhaps for the latter reason, in order to rally domestic opinion, that the recent seizure of fifteen British sailors in International waters off, of Iraq, but, near Persia, has been orchestrated. While perhaps the prime motive is to trade the sailors for the Persian officials seized recently in the Kurdish part of Iraq, by the United States Army, another rationale would be to hold the sailors up for some type of public trial, for purposes of propaganda, after which the sailors would be let go (on the seizure of the British sailors, see: www.ft.com & www.dailystar.com.lb).

Where does the new UN sanctions leave us? It would appear that the EU three powers (Britain, Germany and France) will attempt to approach Persia, perhaps as early as today, in an endeavor to re-start the now defunct negotiations. Hopefully, being realistic about both its internal situation, as well as the International one, the regime in Teheran, will stage a 'climb down', and agree to perhaps a formula (already floated by Russia) to process the fuel for nuclear power in Russia proper, and, thus eliminate the danger of spent fuel being used to manufacture nuclear weapons. With its clients in the Lebanon, also not faring too well of late, it is hoped that the moderate elements in the regime, around ex-President Rafsangani, will overcome the more extreme elements to agree to a workable compromise along the lines of the Russian proposal(on the current situation in the Lebanon, see:www.dailystar.com.lb). Obviously, in any such modus vivendi, the United States, will be forced to offer up some concessions as well, such as a pledge to recognize the current regime in Persia, and, to forswear any ambitions to overthrow it. And, to end its regime of economic sanctions on Teheran. Neither item, to the mind of this commentator, is soo onerous that the United States could not agree to it readily. It can, and in the context of a settlement of the Persian nuclear issue, it must. The alternatives (appeasement or air strikes) are too frightening to contemplate.

2 Comments:

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Nouri said...

Hello, I read your blog regularly, and find it quite stimulating. I've not got the time right now to post my own update on this topic, so I'm going to post a link to your post, if you don't mind.

Though I do have to ask, is there a special reason that you call Iran "Persia"?

Best,

Nouri K. Lumendifi

 
At 9:12 PM, Blogger Charles Giovanni Vanzan Coutinho, Ph.D said...

Dear Nouri,

Thanks for your kind comments about my journal. As per your question pertaining to 'Persia' versus 'Iran', well two (2) reasons: one is that in the time
period that I was studying history as a Graduate Student (1950's), it was custom in the Foreign Office to
call 'Iran', 'Persia'; two, I think that characterizing 'Iran' as 'Persia', per se is no more egregious than say, calling Italia, 'Italy', or Deutschland, 'Germany', et cetera, et cetera. I suppose this is to challenge the pernicious notion, that for some (most Third World) countries, one must bend over backwards to accomodate them, while with others (those I just mentioned, are merely two of many),
one can say and do whatever one wishes.

I hope that I answered your question.

Ciao,

c.

 

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