June 9, 2010

UN Sanctions Pass, US Rejects Fuel Swap Deal

The UN Security Council passed a new round of sanctions against Iran this morning, by a vote of 12 in favor, 2 opposed, and one abstention.
At the same time, American diplomats have reported that the US, along with Russia and France, has rejected the nuclear fuel swap deal recently negotiated by Brazil and Turkey.
In a startling display of irony, Obama Administration officials touted the UN sanctions vote as a display of significant international unity.  This, despite the fact that today’s was the first sanctions vote that passed without the support of all 15 members of the Security Council.  The previous three rounds of sanctions — negotiated by Ambassador John Bolton — were all passed unanimously without a single no-vote.
The Administration’s rhetoric is now starting to sound hollow.  For over a year, Obama Administration officials have repeatedly said they are committed to a dual-track strategy on Iran — one that involves a careful balance of both sanctions and diplomacy. Yet the timing of today’s announced rejection of the fuel swap deal belies their previous promises about being committed to negotiations.
The US can’t send a clearer signal to Iran than they did today: the Obama Administration is committed to imposing greater amounts of sanctions and pressure on Iran, and it will not let diplomacy get in the way of those sanctions — not even when diplomacy leads to the biggest nuclear concession Iran has made since Obama took office.

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