January 19, 2006

Brokeback Diplomacy


From FoxNews: Germany: Diplomacy Can Solve Iran Crisis.

Germany's foreign minister said in comments broadcast Thursday that European efforts to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council did not mean abandoning attempts to reach a diplomatic solution.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator, meanwhile, told the British Broadcasting Corp. that his country is ready to compromise with the West over its nuclear program. ...

Europe, backed by the United States, on Wednesday rejected Iran's request for talks, raising international pressure on Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment. ...

The quick dismissal of Iran's request for a ministerial-level meeting with French, British and German negotiators focused attention on the next step: the U.S. and European push to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council, which could impose economic and political sanctions.

Russia and China, which have veto power on the council, appeared to remain the greatest obstacles. Both nations are opposed to sanctioning a country with which they have strong economic and strategic ties. In recent days, they have expressed reluctance even to the idea of referral.

Even if there were consensus on sanctions, the five permanent Security Council members would be faced with a dilemma. Placing an embargo on Iran's oil exports would hurt Tehran, which earns most of its revenues from energy sales, but also roil world crude markets, spiking prices upward. [Emphasis added]

Posted by Forkum at January 19, 2006 04:53 PM