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US, EU Confident on Iran Sanctions

Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said today that he is confident that a Chapter 7 resolution from the UNSC on Iran will emerge within the next few days. Chapter 7 resolutions are binding and compliance is mandatory, which opens the door for later implementation of sanctions on Iran, currently opposed energetically by both Russia and China.

But sensing support from Britain, France and Germany in such a measure, Burns said, “I think the process would be a Chapter 7 resolution that would ask the Iranians to suspend their nuclear program. If Iran does not comply with that then I think it is inevitable that you’ll see an effort for a sanctions resolution to follow probably in a month or so.”

Interestingly, while Iran has long maintained the UN sanctions would not hurt Iran as much as advertised and have no effect on its nuclear aspirations, Manouchehr Mottaki saw fit to remind all involved that Russia and China will not back sanctions. Even more curious, however, and proof that Iranian bravado and bluster in the face of real sanctions is precisely that, Iran’s deputy nuclear chief, Mohammed Saeedi, revealed Iranian fears of sanctions when he gestured that Iran would cooperate if only the toothless IAEA once again maintained their UN dossier. Saeedi said, “If the issue is returned to the International Atomic Energy Agency, we will be ready to allow intrusive inspections.” Needless to say, the time for this cooperation has long since passed. As well, Iran has never made good on such offers in the past, making them in tight spots to seemingly further the shell game and buy precious time.

Beyond sanctions, the nature and likelihood of a US attack on Iranian facilities has dominated discussions from Washington to New York and from Tehran to Moscow. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards commander, Rear Admiral Mohammad-Ebrahim Dehqani pulled a page from the Saddam Hussein Gulf War strategy guide by threatening strikes on Israel in retaliation to any American attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities. Said Dehqani, “We have announced that wherever America does something evil, the first place that we target will be Israel.”

This entirely believable posturing seems to buttresses the argument that what Iran seeks in any conflict is to embroil the whole of the Middle East in war, attracting regional allies currently quiet from the fertile grounds of common cause, uniting around hatred for Israel, all of them reaping the benefit of triple-digit crude oil prices.

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I am exceptionally fond of the idea of developing a source of energy that we could share with the world so all the oil dictators would have something to complain about--like no easy money to prop up their corrupt despotism! Where is a fully developed thermal depolymerization plant when you need it?