Wednesday, August 10, 2005

UN Resolution Lacks Teeth

The EU submitted a resolution to the UN's watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding Iran's removal of UN seals and the reinstitution of their nuclear program. (The Courier-Mail: EU submits Iran nuclear resolution)

Not surprisingly, the resolution lacks muscle and appears to be little more than a complaint filed with the IAEA. While urging Iran to suspend their activities, the resolution has no enforcement authority or any threat of penalties for non-compliance. Worse yet, the EU only submitted the resolution to the IAEA, refusing to submit any resolution to the entire UN Security Council.

According to Wang Guangya (China's UN Ambassador), "It would not be helpful...We all want a peaceful solution to the Iranian issue. So I think the best place is the efforts between the EU (European Union) and (the) Iranians or the IAEA."

I have news for Mr. Wang. If you want a peaceful solution, then you need to nip Iran's actions now. The IAEA has no authority to do that. Only action by the UN Security Council armed with the threat of force in the event of non-compliance has any hope of bringing a halt to Iran's activities. Instead, the EU is counting on bribes (officially called economic incentives) to foster cooperation. Given the amount of oil under Iranian soil, there's little Iran needs in the way of economic aid. You'd have better luck offering Bill Gates $100 to stop producing Windows.

As it stands now, Iran is in the driver's seat. They are dealing directly with the EU, and it's widely known that France and Germany will go out of their way to avoid confrontation in the Middle East. Diplomacy without the threat of force will have no effect on Iran's efforts. If we're serious about preventing a huge crisis a year from now, we need to get tough with Iran right from the start. As long as they know there's no risk of attack, they will have no incentive to negotiate in good faith. If we're going to bargain, then we need to do it from a position of strength. I don't believe the EU can successfully carry that message.


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