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Security Council Adopts Resolution 1803 against Iran

Friday, April 4, 2008

Firouzeh Mirrazavi 

Finally and after a long delay, representatives of 15 members of the United Nations Security Council adopted an anti-Iran resolution proposed by Britain and France on Monday, March 3, 2008. Resolution 1803 (the third resolution imposing sanctions on Iran) was adopted through 14 ayes and one abstention (Indonesia).

Resolution 1803 which was adopted with some delay compared to its two predecessors has passed over the main points of the latest report presented by director general of International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, and is considered a nonbinding document due to use of nonbinding terms, which try to cover up profound differences among members of 5+1 through forging an apparent consensus.
The main point about confrontation between Iran and 5+1 is the use of “carrot and stick” policy by the latter. In line with that policy, Western countries have asked European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, to restart talks with secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili.

It should be noted that the main ground for reporting Iran’s nuclear case to the United Nations Security Council was provided by ballyhoo over some ambiguities in Iran’s nuclear program which were subsequently removed following unprecedented cooperation of Iran with IAEA inspectors. In return to that progress, however, 5+1 has reacted by adopting a new resolution based on forged charges. A major point in this regard is that Western countries have moved from their previous charges (in the form of six questions posed to Iran by IAEA) to leveling new charges against Iran, which as admitted by ElBaradei, are baseless and simply the result of some unfounded claims. The focus on “alleged studies” and asking Iran for explanations about them and replacing them with items which were removed through the work plan is noteworthy and as stressed by the Iranian authorities, it clearly shows that Western countries are not willing to remove ambiguities from Iran’s nuclear dossier. The resolution, however, has emphasized on readiness of 5+1 to take tangible measures to solve Iran’s nuclear case through diplomatic means. However, despite accepting the work plan, the six countries have, thus far, remained silent about implementation of its result, that is, closing Iran’s nuclear dossier and implementation of Safeguards Contract in Iran. Javier Solana, for his part, has showed no official reaction to proposals offered to him by Saeed Jalili during his recent visit to Brussels. As reported by Reuters, EU foreign policy chief, in his consultations with 5+1 officials, is assessing the possibility of resumption of negotiations with Iran in order to offer “previous incentives package” of the European countries to Tehran in return for cessation of uranium enrichment only within a new framework.

The third sanctions resolution against Iran includes three annexes which add names of 13 more companies and 13 more persons which are not related to Iran’s nuclear installations to the list of sanctions despite the fact that inefficiency of those sanctions have been frequently proven before.

Another point which shows that 5+1 has been in pain over adoption of the resolution is use of nonbinding terms like “precaution”, “voluntary measure” or the need to be “vigilant” which have been mentioned several times throughout the resolution. These are general principles which every country heeds in its relations with other international players and emphasis put by Security Council resolution on them has caused it to look like an ineffective and nonbinding resolution. Of course, authorizing countries to inspect Iranian ships and planes at their ports and airports or calling on countries to refrain from providing Iran with double use material and equipment are among new levers introduced by the Security Council in order to put more pressure on Iran.

The Security Council in its sanctions resolution has also called on Iran to stop uranium enrichment on its soil, but Tehran has pointed out many times that it is not ready to talk about enrichment suspension and maintains that on the strength of ElBaradei’s latest report, the demand is totally political and impractical.

In conclusion, it seems now that, on the one hand, outstanding problems related to Iran’s past nuclear activities have been solved, and on the other hand, Iran’s enrichment activities are totally overseen by the UN nuclear watchdog in accordance with Statute of International Atomic Energy Agency, Non-Proliferation Treaty, and Safeguards Contract, Iran has done away with all ambiguities surrounding its peaceful nuclear program. This leaves IAEA and United Nations Security Council with no more excuses to continue to harass Iran on the basis of politically motivated claims asserted by few countries (whose number does not exceed four) out of 192 UN members.

Therefore, engagement of the United Nations Security Council in this issue would be unjustified and unfair and only mar credibility of International Atomic Energy Agency. The conduct of the Security Council in undermining credibility of the UN nuclear watchdog would only benefit those countries who are trying to bypass IAEA. In fact, the Security Council is meeting the interests of those states which have never liked to see IAEA as a powerful, independent and impartial world body.

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