Friday, November 18, 2011

IAEA Adopts Resolution on Iran

“Deep and Increasing Concern” over Iran Nuclear Program - Russia and China Prevent Tougher Document

IAEA’s Board of Governors adopted a resolution on Iran today, expressing “deep and increasing concern” that Iran could be developing a nuclear weapon, urging Iran to answer questions about a possible nuclear weapons program. Iran rejected the resolution, calling it “unprofessional, unbalanced, illegal and politicized.”

The 35-nation governing body of IAEA approved the resolution overwhelmingly, with 32 countries voting for and 2 against. The members of the Group 5+1, the permanent members of the UNSC plus Germany, all voted for the resolution. Cuba and Ecuador voted against, while Indonesia abstained.

A more strongly worded document, backed by the US, Britain, France and Germany, failed to win support from Russia and China. The resolution adopted today did not give Iran a deadline for addressing the concerns raised by the IAEA and did not refer the issue to the UN Security Council, as preferred by the West but opposed by Russia and China.

The West bluntly accuses Iran of deceiving the world and working secretly on making nuclear arms. Iran continues to insist its nuclear program is entirely for peaceful purposes. It says the allegations that today’s IAEA resolution was based on are themselves based on fabricated US, Israeli, British and French intelligence fed to the IAEA.


Anonymous said...

Oh my!!So all the noise and hype came to NOTHING in the end.The US invested so much effort and money to create a massive "storm" before this report even came out.From the Mexican drug cartel cum used car salesman assassination plot to sexed up Intel IAEA report which turned out to be a dud even before it came out.

Gosh, someone must be very disappointed in Tel Aviv and Washington tonight.

Lets see what they come up with next..Maybe another Iranian plot to assassinate the mayor of Papua New Guinea..This time, the hit-men will be the Fijian coconut sellers.

The US and her allies are losing credibility fast since the Iraq WMD fiasco. The IAEA has also lost it after their latest Oh-so-secret Syrian nuclear plant turned out to be a cotton spinning factory.

In other news, New York Times reports Iran will get nuclear weapons within 2-weeks...Pathetic LIARS!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't kn ow about you guys but from What i unerstood that was a very desperate attempt and a begging action.

THey are going to Iran to appologize.

Nader Uskowi said...

There are two issues at work here. China and Russia prevented a tougher resolution that would have forced Iran to answer to IAEA within certain timeframe and would have referred Iran back to UNSC. Iran will claim victory for the Russian and Chinese action.

But China and Russia were among 32 out of 35 member-nations that voted for the “milder” resolution: accusing Iran of deceiving the world and working secretly on building nuclear weapon. This is hardly a victory for Iran, political or moral. For years Iran and its senior leadership, including Ayatollah Khamenei himself, have been insisting that the country’s nuclear program is entirely for peaceful purposes, and after lobbying hard at IAEA Board of Governors, could only muster the support of Cuba and Ecuador. Hardly a victory; far from it was a diplomatic defeat and a further sign of the country’s isolation on the world stage.

The IAEA vote is a manifestation of realties on the ground: Iran is too big and powerful and the world economy too fragile to allow Israel and the West to use military option against the country’s nuclear program; at the same time the country is so isolated that even though Khamanei insists that there is no military dimension to its nuclear program, only Cuba and Ecuador support its position. It is a big mistake, and frankly dangerous for Iran, if the Iranian leadership conclude that it has scored a victory in Vienna.

TheDonkeyInTheWell said...

Nader how do you explain the recent NAM-resolution?

Me thinks the US is using a lot of political capital to press through these resolutions at a cost to itself, the UN and other western dominated institutions.

Is Iran isolated? Not really, there are plenty of reports which shows that Iran has a majority world support on the nuclear issue.

Do most of these nations have the same strong position as Iran to resist western pressure/bribery? No.

(By the world, I mean THE WORLD, not the few Western nations that call themselves "the international community")

I agree with you that the IAEA resolution doesn't look good for Iran. On paper. And that's exactly what it's, a piece of paper only worth to wage some propaganda war against Iranians.

Nader Uskowi said...

There were two votes taken against Iran at the UN on Friday: the IAEA resolution, where everyone except Ecuador and Cuba voted for, including some NAM countries such as India which are the members of the board of governors. The second vote was in the General Assembly on the assassination plot. Not a single Arab or Muslim country (except Iran) – who are NAM members, voted against the resolution.
Friday was not a day of celebration for Iran; it was not a day of accomplishment for its foreign policy, or lack of. It would be extremely dangerous for Iran not to take these votes seriously, and dismiss the resolutions as worthless pieces of paper. They are the manifestation of Iran’s global isolation.
By repeating same policies, you get same results. Iran needs to revaluate its foreign policy. Getting support from some Latin American countries, although important in itself, is not the long term solution to the global issues facing Iran. The country needs to get out of self delusion mode and start a new push to gather support internationally, and that can not be achieved by repeating the policies of the last six years – those policies would bring same results.

TheDonkeyInTheWell said...

Although I agree with you:

"Friday was not a day of celebration for Iran; it was not a day of accomplishment for its foreign policy, or lack of. It would be extremely dangerous for Iran not to take these votes seriously, and dismiss the resolutions as worthless pieces of paper."

(I didn’t say the resolutions are worthless; please read my comment again)

What I asked was how you explain Iran’s support in NAM when saying Iran is isolated. Unfortunately, you ignored my question and instead made some more political statements.

What has happened at the IAEA and the General Assembly is that the US (and Saudi Arabia in the GA) successfully spent their political capital. Other explanations could be that other nations hoped the ("water-downed") resolutions might just avoid a war.

This would explain why Iran has support in NAM but not IAEA/GA. (Please feel free to contribute with your own explanations—which was what I asked for)

To answer what you then wrote

You cannot conclude from this instance alone that the Iranian foreign policy is failing. What is happening is that the US (and Saudis) are pushing hard to pass these pieces of paper (because of their own recent foreign policy failings).

And you’re right. Iran should take note how nations are easily swayed. But as the reality on the ground is indicating, Iranian foreign policy is not a complete failure (the US was pushing for more stringent resolutions).

To expand on your argument. If you think about it, it seems that the US foreign policy is undoubtedly the one being expensive and detrimental to the US, and really needs to change. In fact you could take what you said about Iran and apply it to the US--a repeating US foreign policy which has for over 30 years brought nothing but harm to US interests.

How much did it cost the US to have the IAEA/GA resolutions, and how much more will it cost to sway China and Russia (as it eventually will happen)?

Nader Uskowi said...


Thanks so much, as always, for your informative and well reasoned contributions to our forum. Your comments, even though I do not agree with some part of them, do indeed enrich this blog and are highly appreciated.

You had asked my what I thought about the NAM resolution. I believe I did answer you: let’s look at the two votes on Friday at IAEA board of governors and the UN General Assembly. The latter cannot be argued to be controlled by the US. In those votes, significant number of NAM countries either voted against Iran, or did not oppose those resolutions. That’s the reality on the ground. Not a single Muslim or Arab country sided with Iran at the General Assembly. At IAEA, there were NAM countries like India that also voted against Iran.

If the Iranian leadership does not see any significance in these votes, they will be bound to repeat same policies that have gotten them to this point. Last time I checked, repeating same policies, produces same results. Unless they believe that global isolation for Iran is a good thing, and anyone advocating policies that would instead create alliance at world stage is an enemy.

My point is not whether Iran has the legal rights to enrich uranium, or whether it has plotted to kill the Saudi ambassador. The legal arguments are best handled in the courts.

On nuclear program, the topic of your comments, Iran deliberately chose to follow a political track: we are a sovereign country and have the right to enrich and the West can do nothing about it. Fine so far. Iran resumed enrichment under Ahmadinejad’s leadership. They proved the point, and they could then follow a complimentary policy of lessening the tensions and work with IAEA more closely. Instead, they followed the same policy. Seemingly enjoying very much the confrontation with West, even though they have already enriched so much uranium, much more than their needs to run civilian power stations that are not even been built yet! The consequence of such policy was a growing isolation leading to the votes at IAEA and the UN General Assembly.

Are Saudi and US foreign policies questionable? Could very well be. But here we are talking about Iran’s. You do not answer a wrong policy with a wrong policy of your own. If you do, you just might isolate yourself even more. Look at what has happened in the past decade. From a foreign policy point of view, it is a disaster. From the point of view of arousing the masses, it is a success. You need to have the people at your side, that’s prudent politics, but you also need to have a prudent foreign policy. Is is easy to maintain both, probably not. But these leaders are supposedly paid to provide that type of leadership, aren’t they?

TheDonkeyInTheWell said...

Thank you Uskowi, I rarely do comment but it's nice to see it was appreciated.

Now, so not to complicate matters any further.

1) I basically agree with you on that the resolutions in IAEA and GA was negative for Iran (in many ways).

2) I however disagree that this is because the foreign policy of Iran is failing or Iran is isolated.

Regarding the second point, we'll have to wait and see, but Iran is still standing after 30 years so it's doing something right in the face of unprecedented hostility from the West.

One thing I do believe is important to emphasize is that I never said the IAEA or GA is under the "control" of the US (or SA). This is very important.

The argument here is about political power and the ability of the US (or any other nation) to influence the voting at the IAEA, GA or any other political institution. And in this regard I would agree with you (point 1) that Iran seems to have failed gaining support for its cause.

However I argue (point 2) that from this it does not follow that Iran's foreign policy is failing. The US and SA have more leverage to impact the votes. (And as mentioned neither US nor SA did get the resolution they wanted)

On Iran's Nuclear Program

I'll just defer to on this. In short, Iran hasn't done anything wrong and the US is the using the NPT/IAEA as a pretext for a more sinister agenda. Iran has made many concessions to the US and the IAEA regarding its nuclear program, all of them have been either blocked or rejected by the US. The problem here is not Iranian policy but US hostility.

On foreign policy and popular support

You make good points, but I'd still say that you're being too hard on Iran. I'd say that the problem Iran is facing is that it simply cannot compete with the US in the terms of foreign policy, because Iran cannot offer much to other states. The US (and even SA with its oil and the backing of the US) could influence smaller/weaker nations far more easily (don't forget that the US is at ease with eg threatening to cut off access to financial markets, or using propaganda or terrorism against those who disobey its wishes).

But you cannot discuss Iranian foreign policy without taking into account US/SA foreign policy, especially in this situation. This entire spectacle is about US/SA foreign policy vis-à-vis Iran foreign policy.


(NAM is an organisation. If India or other NAM nations vote differently in GA or IAEA that's another issue entirely. NAM as an organisation issued a resolution in favour of Iran's nuclear rights)

The reason that Iran has the support of NAM is probably because the US didn't use its powers to influence NAM regarding Iran's nuclear program. If NAM was politically important then I could promise you that the voting there would have reflected the IAEA.

What was the point with all this?

Well, I was bored today... But more importantly:

The IAEA/GA votes were definitely political (duh), and paid and bought for by the US/SA (not the same as "controlling"), and they are worth as nothing more than propaganda material.

Because nations capitilize does not mean they will act differently "on the gound". (eg they will still do business with Iran)

- Was it a political setback for Iran. As you say, yes.

- Is it harmful for Iranian foreign policy? Could become (Western propganda news outlets are already having a field day).

- Is it proof that Iran's foreign policy is bad? No (it does not follow logically).

- Can Iranian leaders do better? Let's hope so. Iran is paying a very high price not only for its own independence but also the future of entire world.

Nader Uskowi said...

Noted, thanks!

Anonymous said...

That some countries should vote against Iran is obvious due to US pressure. Lets remember that India voted to send Iran's file to the UNSC because the US promised to provide nuclear cooperation. Other countries have come under similar pressure/promises. The fact that the preferred US/Israel/EU resolution was not adopted was a victory for Iran. China Russia went along with Previous resolutions but now have separated from the US. It shows that the US overplayed its hand and led to divisions.

Nader Uskowi said...

It would have been a sad day for Iran’s diplomacy if the country called a resolution passed by 32-2 votes against it at the IAEA board of governors a victory. A resolution that practically accuses Iran of doing what its leaders have repeatedly said they had no intention to do. I am sure the government is wiser than calling this a victory, and realizes that it needs new push at the diplomatic and political front.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Nader, would you like to lead the Iranian diplomatic mission in the world? Since you seem to have all the smart ideas..

As they say, it's always easy to be smart in hindsight..Just a thought..

Nader Uskowi said...

Anon 3:36 PM,

Thanks for your support, but I am doing just fine at my current job!

“Easy to be smart in hindsight” – Agreed. But that applies to the government as well, doesn’t it? They are expected to be smart in hindsight and revise their policies after getting same results again and again.