Thursday, March 15, 2007

UN draft on second round of Iran sanctions agreed on - as Russia and Iran have a falling out over money

Some interesting developments in the Iran nukes soap opera lately...

For one thing, the UN Security Council has finally agreed on a draft resoluton for another round of sanctions for Iran if the mullahs don't cease uranium enrichment.

The draft text, which may be adopted as early as next week,supposedly includes provisions like a ban on exports of arms from Iran and a freeze on the assets of key Iranian officials. also calls on all nations and international financial institutions not to enter into new commitments for grants, financial assistance and loans except "for humanitarian and developmental purposes".

It doesn't impose a mandatory travel embargo on Iranian officials engaged in nuclear activities but it does require nations to notify a Security Council sanctions committee if such officials pass through their territory.

The existing sanctions that were in place last December ordered all countries to stop supplying Iran with materials and technology that could contribute to its nuclear and missile programs. Needless to say, UN member Russia kept doing business as usual..until recently.

As I reported in Short Takes - Joshua's Army News update, 2/20/07, the Mullahs and Russia have had a falling out, not because of sanctions or because of any moral considerations...but simply because of the money.

Apparently, Iran has missed several payments worth a total of over $70 million for the construction of Iran's first nuclear power station at Bushehr - so the Russians have slowed work on the plant. In fact, some observers are flatly saying that Moscow has reportedly pulled the plug and is losing Patience With Iran.

"Atomstroiexport has not received money for two years, due to a lack of financing from the Iranian side," the Russian state-owned contractor said in a statement on Monday.

The Iranians, of course, complain that their payments are up to date and are accusing the Russians of defaulting.

Russia was supposed to start the delivery of fuel rods in March, the reactor was to be complete by September, and to be up and running the following month. And you'll remember that the Russians fought like dogs to except Bushehr from the UN sanctions in December. Now, it looks like the schedule has been delayed...if the project even gets completed at all.

Have things changed? is the honeymoon over? Has Putin belatedly realized that the Iranian missiles could hit Moscow as well as Europe or Israel?

Maybe. Or it could simply be that Iran did in fact default onits payments, given their economic woes.

As for Ahmadinejad, he was in fine form over all this.

"You are wrong if you think you can sit and draft ... something in order to isolate the Iranian nation," he said. "Not only are you unable to hurt Iran, but you would further isolate yourselves and make yourselves more hated."

Responding to the latest threat of sanctions Ahmadinejad said: "What is the aim of issuing such resolutions? Today we are mastering the nuclear fuel cycle completely. If all of you (Westerners) get together, and call your ancestors from hell as well, you will not be able to stop the Iranian nation. You sanctioned us in the past but we obtained the nuclear technology. Impose economic sanctions on us today and see what would be our next step."

Sounds like he's a little put out.

Stay tuned....

1 comment:

cakreiz said...

Suggestion to Ahmadinejad: drop a note to Putin and tell him that the check's in the mail. It works every time.

Ya gotta love it when Iran stiffs a major creditor. You can't make this stuff up. It has to be why foreign policy is so difficult to manage- it's so unpredictable.