The United Nations Fails A Gutcheck On Iran

by John Hawkins | September 22, 2006 9:19 am

Here’s an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal[1] editorial that points out how utterly and completely the United Nations has failed in dealing with Iran:

“Hugo Ch├ívez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad put on quite a show at the United Nations this week, and it’s tempting to dismiss it all as mere bombast. Except that their assertiveness can’t be separated from the more important U.N. story this week, which is its continuing failure to come to grips with Iran’s open defiance of the Security Council’s demand that it suspend uranium enrichment.

At issue is whether the U.N. can have any role in enforcing collective security–and the mystery is why the very nations that say the U.N. must do so are doing the most to undermine it. Consider the behavior of Russia, France and China–all veto-wielding members of the Security Council–in squaring up to the Iranian threat.

In July, the Council adopted Resolution 1696, which noted “with serious concern that . . . Iran has not taken the steps required of it by the [International Atomic Energy Agency] Board of Governors.” The Council went on to express “its intention . . . to adopt appropriate measures under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations to persuade Iran to comply with this resolution.” Article 41 refers to all legally binding measures short of war–sanctions, that is–to bring states into compliance with U.N. resolutions. The Resolution said Iran must cease enriching uranium by August 31, a deadline Tehran has openly flouted.

So, serious consequences? Not quite. Chinese Middle East envoy Sun Bigan has rejected sanctions on Iran as “detrimental not only to the region but also to ourselves”–the latter a reference to China’s oil imports from Iran, up 56% from last year. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov–who is selling Iran a $700 million air-defense system–also says sanctions won’t work. That sentiment was echoed earlier this week by France’s Jacques Chirac, whom the Bush Administration has claimed is a stalwart ally in stopping Iran. “I am never favorable to sanctions,” said the French President, adding that, if they are unavoidable, they should be “moderate and adapted.”

In other words, it has taken less than a month for the deadline set by Resolution 1696 to prove to be absolutely meaningless, something Mr. Ahmadinejad predicted in April. Why then would the Permanent Five risk their credibility as an institution by setting a deadline in the first place? Why threaten sanctions if they have no intention of imposing them?

The answer may be that U.N. diplomacy has come to serve as a deterrent not against Iran but against any American effort to do anything about Iran’s rush to acquire the bomb.”

Do you know what is so ironic about this situation? Because the UN is hopelessly incompetent and our European allies are so feckless, it makes a conflict between the US and Iran much more likely.

If we were actually getting a lot of cooperation on sanctions and the attitude was, “We support a US bombing run on Iran, if that’s what it takes to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” this would probably never develop into a military conflict.

But, this international weakness gives the Iranians false hope in exactly the same way that it gave false hope to Saddam. The reality is that the United States doesn’t need the help or permission of the United Nations or Western Europe to bomb Iran and if need be, we will go it alone.

There is absolutely no way that we’re going to knowingly sit back and allow a nation run by unbalanced, terrorist supporting, genocidal Islamo-Fascists to acquire the bomb and set off a Middle-Eastern arms race that will undoubtedly lead to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq — at a minimum — all acquiring nuclear weapons as well.

Keep in mind that George Bush does not need the permission of Congress to bomb Iran and since we wouldn’t be sending in ground troops, it’s highly likely that the American people will strongly support a military attack. In fact, all it will take to build up 70% support for bombing Iran would be playing translated clips of Ahmadinejad talking like a lunatic and asking, “Do you really want this homicidal lunatic to have a nuclear bomb?”

Bombing Iran? That’s what is probably going to happen at some point down the road — and Western Europe and the UN deserve a lot of blame for making that outcome more likely.

Hat tip to Betsy’s Page[2] for the story.

  1. Wall Street Journal:
  2. Betsy’s Page:

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