Call to Censure Iran

By Henry Greenfield

Russia and China are pushing back against American and European efforts to censure Iran before the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) on Nov. 17.

Two weeks ago, the IAEA reported evidence that Iran has been pursuing nuclear weapons since 2003. Iran’s nuclear program became public in late 2002. America accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons. But Iran claims that it does not want nuclear weapons, rejecting the IAEA’s report as politically biased.

According to the Washington Post, Venezuela, Cuba and South Africa also oppose American and European calls to censure Iran.

President Obama has proposed various international sanctions that would extend preexisting UN sanctions against Iran.  These preexisting sanctions mostly forbid countries from selling weapons to Iran. One of the more extreme additions that President Obama has suggested would freeze the Iranian national bank.  But this would probably raise international oil prices, making it unpopular in the UN.

Because of dissent by two members of the UN Security Council (Russia and China) it is unlikely that the IAEA conference on Nov. 17 will produce any further sanctions.

America has not discussed any forms of intervention in Iran beyond sanctions.  But Israel has. Based on government leaks, the Israeli press reported that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, discussed the possibility of a military strike against Iran and its nuclear facilities after the IAEA report was issued two weeks ago.



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