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Daily View: UN sanctions on Iran

Clare Spencer | 12:20 UK time, Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Commentators discuss the possibility of the UN bringing in a fourth round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear enrichment programme.

At al-Jazeera, development economist Massoud Parsi looks at the opportunity costs already incurred to Iran due to sanctions:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

"While Iran's real growth rate of around five per cent a year for close to a decade has far outpaced that of Western economies, it has been slower than that of the fastest emerging economies like China, Brazil, India and Vietnam, to name a few.
"Furthermore, and in anticipation of extended sanctions, a number of multinational oil companies have recently ceased supplies of refined petroleum to Iran.
"Access to foreign technology has been hampered and scientific cooperation with some Western countries has been affected."

Amir Taheri explains in the Times how Iran's "propaganda war" against Israel will affect their strategic position in the international community:

"Tehran's strategy will enable it to present any military clash with the US, over Iraq for example, as a consequence of the Islamic Republic's campaign against Israel rather than because of its deliberately provocative and adventurist foreign policy.
"Believing that its potential adversaries are weak and indecisive, the Khomeinist regime appears determined to push the region to the edge of war and, perhaps, beyond."

The New York Times exposes how Iran works around sanctions:

"Several provisions focus on Irisl, which has been determined by the United Nations to have been involved in a plot to smuggle weapons, in violation of an international embargo that prohibits Iran from exporting arms.
"But an examination shows how Iran has used a succession of stratagems -changing not just ships' flags and names but their owners, operators and managers, too - to stay one step ahead of its pursuers. This cat-and-mouse game offers a case study in the difficulties of enforcing sanctions."

John Metzler explains in the China Post why Brazil and Turkey may not support the resolution:

"Naturally there are commercial reasons both Brazil and Turkey have in their trade with oil-rich Iran. While this is hardly surprising, the United States forcing both of these countries to choose between supporting a weak set of sanctions on Iran or a slap in the face to their own prideful diplomacy. Brazil and Turkey will naturally choose the later, no mater how ill-advised and thus bring the odious regime in Iran some serious international support.
"In other words to get support for a non-decisive set of economic sanctions, Washington is needlessly alienating Brasilia and Ankara."

The BBC's UN correspondent reports that a Turkish diplomat explains that Turkey doesn't want to lose diplomatic engagement with Iran. On the BBC news website Barbara Plett looks at the effect of the Turkish and Brazilian opposition to sanctions:

"The opposition of these two powerful emerging states will not stop the resolution, but will it weaken America's attempts to build an effective international front against Tehran?
"Iran sanctions expert George Lopez says no - not if the US has the support of two traditional allies of the Islamic republic."

Kaveh Afrasiabi says in the Asia Times that an alternative to sanctions - a fuel swap - is looking increasingly unlikely:

"The fuel exchange was a big opportunity that could pave the way for all countries to cooperate on nuclear issues in the future, Mehmanparast said, adding, 'Iran hopes that the Vienna Group uses this opportunity appropriately and puts interaction and cooperation on its agenda instead of confrontation.'
"But, with the US and its allies convinced that the "pressure track" is the correct option to pursue Iran at present, the window of opportunity for a breakthrough via the swap deal is fast closing."

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