It certainly doesn’t look as though Iran is much deterred by the sanctions recently approved by the United Nations Security Council:
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran vowed Sunday to push forward efforts to enrich uranium and to change its relations with the international nuclear watchdog after the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions designed to stop the country’s disputed nuclear program.
Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Security Council would regret voting in favor of the sanctions, saying he was sorry the West lost its chance to make amends with Iran.
“I am sorry for you who lost the opportunity for friendship with the nation of Iran. You yourself know that you cannot damage the nation of Iran an iota,” the state-run news agency, IRNA, quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
Ahmadinejad also said the United Nations must accept Iran’s nuclear program and warned that sanctions would not harm his country.
“You have to accept that Iran has the technology of producing nuclear fuel. And it will celebrate it in coming anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution in February,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.
I can’t help but think that the reality that at this point Iran’s nuclear development program is basically self-sustaining was the main factor that allowed the sanctions to go forward in the UNSC to begin with. What’s the harm in authorizing sanctions that can’t possibly have any effect?
So, what next? As Chicago Boyz points out the increasingly stern rhetoric against Iran is probably meaningless—the Tradesports prediction on an airstrike against Iran suggests there won’t be any action of this kind in the foreseeable future.
The U. S. policy that obtained from roughly 1950 to 1979 has been in a complete shambles now for almost thirty years. This Two Pillars strategy had a Shi’ite component (Iran) and a Sunni component (Saudi Arabia). IMO the policy that has replaced it, increased military basing in the region, will become decreasingly tenable, too.
Negotiating with Iran and Syria will inevitably be seen as a shift in balance against our historic allies in the region; failure to do so may be seen as our taking the Sunni side in a Shi’a-Sunni conflict in the region. Is it possible to cultivate a strong relationship with a Shi’a Iraq as a buffer to increasing Iranian influence in the region without threatening the delicate balance in the region? I don’t see how.