Portraits of the late Iranian revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, right, and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appear at a construction site at South Pars gas field in Assalouyeh, Iran, on July 19. The engineering arm of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, which was recently hit by U.N. sanctions, has partially withdrawn from developing the gas field, the Oil Ministry announced July 16.
When it comes to registering disapproval for Iran’s nuclear program, certain key members of the international community keep pushing the same button—that would be the one marked sanctions. But is this becoming more of a rote reflex than an effective strategy? Critics of Iran’s apparent plans, from within and without the country, aren’t all in accord on this issue.
Also, Russia made its stance on the sanctions question clear with a disapproving statement Tuesday. —KA
How do you solve a problem like Iran’s nuclear programme? Especially when Iran does not see it as a problem and elevates what it says is a peaceful drive for nuclear energy to the status of a national cause?
The UN Security Council wrestled with this question again in June and came up with the same old answer: another round of sanctions. There was majority support from the 15 members because many were worried the Iranians might be secretly trying to build a nuclear bomb.
But no votes from Turkey and Brazil showed cracks in the consensus, a signal of unease with a policy that has so far failed to change Iran’s behaviour and of fears that it may lead to confrontation.