Third Rail on the Axis of Evil

From The Guardian:

UN poised to pass Iran sanctions despite threat

· Ahmadinejad warns of immediate retaliation
· US and Britain step up naval presence in Gulf

Ewen MacAskill and Richard Norton-Taylor
Friday December 22, 2006
The Guardian

The United Nations security council is finally expected to pass a resolution today to impose international sanctions on Iran for the first time since the 1979 revolution, a punitive move that will heighten diplomatic tensions and risks a military confrontation in the Gulf.

Iran has threatened immediate retaliation, even though the proposed sanctions have been significantly watered down this week. Tehran's options include withdrawal from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, which would mean Iran would conduct its nuclear programme free from international monitoring, and possible closure of the Strait of Hormuz, the channel for 20% of the world's oil supplies.
You knew that as soon as the elections were over, gas prices were going to go back up, right? There are oil company profits to think about here!
The resolution will impose extremely limited restrictions on international travel on Iranians associated with the nuclear programme, a freeze on their overseas assets and a ban on nuclear-related exports. Western officials yesterday predicted that a draft resolution would be voted on today in New York, bringing to an end six months of negotiations.

Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, who is responsible for nuclear negotiations, was quoted by an Iranian news agency yesterday as saying that Iran would not be deflected by the sanctions. "The nature of this resolution is not capable of pressuring Iran, and Iran will give an appropriate response to it," Mr Larijani said, adding: "This behaviour will just create more problems." He said that Iran would review its cooperation with the IAEA and look at other political, economic and cultural options.
Yet another reason why being trapped in Iraq makes us weaker.

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