By Davoud Hermidas Bavand, university professor and Iran-US affairs analyst
The resolution IAEA issued against Iran on Friday is in fact the fruit of negotiations held during the recent months. Weary about Iran’s nuclear intentions, West pressurized our country to sit at the table and mitigate worries. A light appeared at the end of the tunnel after the recent parleys, particularly the Vienna talks; however, Tehran’s subsequent stance -which signaled lack of strategic solidarity inside the country-, resulted in rejection of Vienna agreements. This development, after the leakage of news on Iran’s new enrichment site near Qom, raised suspicions and turned the tide against Iran. In the new circumstances, the Americans initiated a campaign to bring Russia and China on board and form a united front against Iran. US appeasement of Russia on issues such as shelving the missile defense shield and overlooking disputes between Russia and Georgia paved the way for unanimity among 5+1 members.
The collaboration between members of the group led to resolution against Iran approved by IAEA Board of Governors on Friday, gaining the vote of twenty-five from thirty-four members of the board, including five permanent members of UN Security Council, with only three votes in opposition and seven votes of abstention.
West considers the vote as a successful step towards curbing Iran’s nuclear program. Despite ElBaradei’s rejection of Iran’s new proposal for nuclear fuel exchange inside the country, there are still chances for constructive dialogue, but if the opportunity is lost, we should await more stringent UNSC resolutions against Iran in compliance with Article 41 of UN Charter [http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter7.shtml].
Obama, the United States and likely UN resolutions
Since his presidency, Obama has tried to tackle the Iran problem through diplomatic means and moderation of US tone against Iran. He has taken truly constructive steps and extended his hand towards Iran. Unfortunately, Iran’s response however has not been satisfying. Meanwhile, inside the United States, Barack Obama is under pressure from Republicans, the Congress, federal institutions such as the US National Security Council and most important of all, America’s pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC. The post-election turmoil in Iran and the gap between Iranians and the regime has also tarnished Iran’s not-so-appealing international image and urged Obama to carry out serious decisions. We should know that the IAEA resolution is just a forerunner and Iran could face a much tougher situation if does not moderate its stance as soon as possible.