It was just about a year ago that the Obama administration (via the Secretary of State), began to warn Iran if they they didn’t start cooperating the UN would impose “crippling sanctions” against the oppressive regime. That was followed by Obama’s own declaration that if Iran did not respond to his outstretched hand and negotiate ending the production of nuclear fuel by December of 2009, he would quickly add a “pressure track” (sanctions) to his diplomacy. In January the POUTUS predicted that by February the UN Security Council (UNSC) will have passed new harsher sanctions against Iran.
One week from today is April 1st. According to the French there will be no action until June. Many other Western allies agree. No one in the Obama administration has used the word “crippling” in front of the word “sanctions” in a very long time. Now they talk about taking their time and maintaining unity which is short for pulling back so we can have China and Russia sign on to worthless sanctions.
Today the WSJ reported:
The U.S. has backed away from pursuing a number of tough measures against Iran in order to win support from Russia and China for a new United Nations Security Council resolution on sanctions, according to people familiar with the matter.
Among provisions removed from the original draft resolution the U.S. sent to key allies last month were sanctions aimed at choking off Tehran’s access to international banking services and capital markets, and closing international airspace and waters to Iran’s national air cargo and shipping lines, according to the people.
….U.S. officials said they wouldn’t comment on the day-by-day negotiations taking place among the Security Council members. But they stressed that the Obama administration is seeking the toughest measures possible against Tehran while maintaining unity among the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany, which are drafting the sanctions.“We are seeking an appropriate resolution that puts significant pressure on the government,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Wednesday. “We continue to consult with various countries, and it’s our desire to maintain unanimity. It will be a strong united statement that Iran will have to pay attention to.”The disclosure of weakened proposals came as U.S. officials sought to persuade Russia and China to back measures against Iran in a conference call on Wednesday among the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany, the first such meeting including China since mid-January.
…The current resolution still would target major power centers in Iran, in particular the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country’s elite military force, according to a person familiar with the draft. It would also stiffen a broad range of existing sanctions, including the search and seizure of suspicious cargo bound for Iran through international waters and a ban on states offering financial assistance or credits for trade with Iran. If approved, they would be the most stringent measures Iran has faced.
But neither Russia or China have signaled that they would approve such a resolution. No body should be surprised at that, they blunted George Bush’s sanction attempts every step of the way.
The new draft calls only for unspecified “additional steps” to enforce current sanctions on insurance, which is diplo-talk for this time we really truly mean it you are really going to get it.
Unfortunately, Iran is one policy where Obama has copied President Bush, lots of threats, no bite. Obama has threatened sanctions about a year now, and all he has to show for it is a handful of empty nothings. The problem is if Iran gets Nukes the safety of the United States will be in grave danger, and this strategy is going nowhere.