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February 4, 2006
Iran Gets Referral To UNSC

Iran got the expected referral to the United Nations Security Council over its intransigence on nuclear power today, with only three of the 35 board members supporting the mullahcracy:

The United Nations nuclear watchdog has voted 27 to three to report Iran to the UN Security Council over its resumption of nuclear activities.

Teheran immediately reacted to the vote, saying it would curb UN inspections of its nuclear plants and pursue full-scale uranium enrichment.

Today's decision by the board of the 35-nation International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) marks a significant step on the road towards possible economic and political sanctions against Iran.

But no further action is expected until March, when Mohamed El Baradei, the IAEA chief, delivers a formal report on his inspectors' inquiries in Iran to the Security Council.

The delay came at the request of Russia and China, both of whom want to give Iran a few weeks to cool off and start acting rationally. The three no votes came from the further reaches of the lunatics, and five abstentions from the appeasers: Cuba, Syria, and Venezuela voted no, and Algeria, Belarus, Indonesia, Libya and South Africa all decided not to decide.

Does this mean sanctions and isolation will come soon from the UNSC? Doubtful. As I said yesterday, the Chinese appear not to care about a nuclear-armed Teheran on its border. A CQ reader pointed out that it would just be the fourth nuclear power on China's border -- but it would be the first with an Islamist government that celebrates suicide and martyrdom, not exactly a rational actor on the world stage. Russia may or may not participate in sanctions. It would like to keep Iran as a client state in Putin's attempt to restart the Great Game, but Iran also funds and supplies the Islamists in the Caucasus that bedevil Russian rule in its southern territories.

What the referral does is provide a replay of the Iraq debate for this year. The US and UK, this time joined by the French and Germans, will insist on action against Iran. If the UNSC passes such a resolution and actually enforces it, it will prove a significant victory for the US/UK alliance. If not, it will provide another example of UN uselessness on terrorism and nuclear proliferation, and give the US/EU partners an opening to accelerate their efforts to topple the mullahcracy from within.

We'll discuss this development with Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute on the Northern Alliance Radio Network. He will be on between 2 and 3 pm, the last hour of our four-hour show, which begins at 11 am CT on AM 1280 The Patriot. If you're not in the Twin Cities, you can listen on the web stream at the link, and join the conversation with Michael and all of us by calling 651-289-4488.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 4, 2006 10:42 AM

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