Fair Policy, Fair Discussion

June 8, 2010

UN preparing to vote on sanctions against Iran

As early as this Wednesday, the UN could vote upon a new set of sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to punish it for continuing its nuclear program. As the vote approaches, US officials are confident that at least twelve states should vote for this new round of sanctions, although Turkey, Brazil and Lebanon are expected to vote against them.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk among the international community warning against sanctions. Russian President Vladimir Putin commented that the UN should be wary of passing a resolution that is too tough on Iran arguing that “This resolution should not be excessive, should not put Iran’s leadership, the Iranian people in a tricky situation that creates barriers on the way of development of Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy.” This being the case, it is still projected that Russia will vote in favor of sanctions.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad also warned against sanctions saying that if new sanctions were put into place, there would be no chance of negotiations. Negotiations are likely to be a part of the sanctions package proposed by the UN which would largely focus on sanctioning the purchase of heavy weapons and blocking financial support of Iran.

However, it is not just world leaders who are warning that sanctions may not be the best move for the UN. At a conference at the Woodrow Wilson institute this past Friday, many panelists voiced the opinion that further sanctions against Iran would be nothing but detrimental.

Panelists noted that instead of handicapping the government and forcing them into negotiations, it would only strengthen its resolve and present the Iranian government with someone to blame for lack of freedom within the country. Furthermore, as President Ahmedinejad stated, sanctions would only prove to hamper the process of negotiations between the US/EU and Iran. Farideh Farhi, likened the act of simultaneously sanctioning and attempting to negotiate with Iran with “asking them to sit down and talk while slapping them in the face.”

With sanctions likely to pass, and Iran becoming ever closer allies with Turkey and Brazil, it will be interesting to see how things play out.

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