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Thursday, January 14, 2010

P5 minus 1

China has found a new way to stall on implementing new sanctions on Iran. China has decided to stay home. So much for all that bowing that Obama did there.
But a diplomatic source tells POLITICO that China is saying its political director may not necessarily be able to come to a meeting of the P5+1 -- the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany -- that is scheduled for next weekend in New York.

It couldn't immediately be confirmed if China does not plan to attend, or plans to send a less senior representative. The State Department did not immediately respond to a query on the matter.

The P5+1 was expected to meet at the end of December, but China also couldn't come then.
On the other hand, Laura Rozen writes at Politico that the advantage of the more focused sanctions sought by the Obama administration is that they don't need Security Council approval.
More targeted sanctions on an expanded list of designated IRGC connected entities is also perhaps useful for the administration because they can be authorized without any additional UN Security Council resolution, which China is in a position to block, should it choose.

But the European diplomat also said that while the Obama administration may have stopped publicly talking about "crippling" sanctions on Iran -- a phrase Secretary of State Hillary Clinton previously used -- the list of entities to consider designating for sanctions that the Obama administration is sharing with its P5+1 counterparts is the same list as before.
I find it hard to believe that the multilateralist Obama is going to go ahead and implement sanctions without UN approval.

But more importantly, while all of this dithering over what sanctions to implement, when and by whom goes on, Iran's centrifuges keep spinning. The time for sanctions to even have a chance is rapidly running out.


At 8:45 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Sanctions in 2010? A lot of talk and no action.

They're not going to happen.


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