Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Helene Cooper, "Iran sanctions could fracture coalition," NYT, August 23, 2006.

Writing for the NYT, Helene Cooper details concerns that non-permanent members of the Security Council are angered enough by French and US handling of Lebanon that they are ready to "provide political cover" for Russia and China to drag their heels on sanctions against Iran. Russia has agreed to ban travel by Iranian officials and to restrict imports of nuclear-related technology.

Iran's energy sector is vulnerable. Although it has large oil reserves, it imports more than 40 percent of its gasoline because it lacks refinery capacity. Sanctions that target Iran's energy sector would almost certainly raise the cost of gasoline at the pump.

Cooper doesn't say who is angry or specifically what they are angry about. She does mention some annoyance that France has offered to provide only 200 troops to the multinaitonal force. But that doesn't seem to cover it. She doesn't even say who the non-permanent members are at the moment. She does pass along the view that a resolution on sanctions is practically certain and that no one is currently talking about a military attack. -jlt


“Lebanon has proven that there’s no military solution to the problem in the Middle East,” said Trita Parsi, the Iranian-born author of “Treacherous Triangle: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the United States,” which Yale University Press plans to publish next year.

While there is no talk among the world powers right now about hitting Iran militarily, European diplomats in particular said they worried about a downward spiral if the sanctions did not work. “They’ve been dragged into three wars over there by the U.S.,” Mr. Parsi said, referring to Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon. “They don’t want a fourth.”


Cooper repeats in passing the view that 1701 calls for "the eventual disarming of Hezbollah."
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