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United at the United Nations on Iran?

From AP Diplomatic Writer, Anne Gearan: Analysis: Bully Role Won't Help With Iran...

The Bush administration may be on the verge of getting what it has long sought: United Nations sanctions on a defiant Iran over its accelerated nuclear program. That may not be much of a victory.

The U.N. Security Council isn't likely to approve tough sanctions anytime soon, analysts said, and Iran can easily shake off light punishments. The United States risks shattering an international coalition it fought hard to build if it plays the bully now.

Perhaps emboldened by what it views as a proxy victory over the West during the monthlong Israeli war with Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants, Tehran is testing the unity of the international front against it.

Ms. Gearan's relatively light analysis makes some good observations of the week's events as it continues.

Nonetheless, two things to consider.

First, begging forgiveness for the self-reference, Exploitation Week was indeed put into full swing by Tehran as predicted, beginning this Tuesday past and culminating next Thursday, 31Aug06. From Gearan's own article:

"If their strategy was to divide the Security Council it seems to be working,"Levi said, citing Friday's remarks from the Russian Vice Premier Sergei Ivanov that talk of sanctions is premature.

Secondly, and far more importantly, a fundamental question must be asked as Anne Gearan notes that the "United States risks shattering an international coalition it fought hard to build if it plays the bully now."

If that coalition is unable to affect the Iranian program, what value is there to be had in holding it together? This is not to suggest that there is no value. Clearly there is. But what is that value, exactly?

Is that value worth the cost if the so-called coalition is unwiling to come to consensus on meaningful sanctions?

Within days of August 31 (next Thursday), we will know precisely the value of that coalition. The cost may well be ceding nuclear weapons technology openly to the world's premier state sponsor of terrorism...all in the name of international unity.

For what it's worth, the similarities between the Pakistani path to a nuclear weapon and Iran's current trek are uncanny and underappreciated.