Andrew C. McCarthy explains what’s wrong with the UN sanctions against Iran in National Review:
…In what, moreover, has to be one of the more embarrassing king-has-no-clothes moments, this testament to cravenness came only a day after federal judge Royce C. Lamberth’s painstaking 209-page opinion, describing the Islamic Republic’s orchestration of the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing which killed 19 members of the United States Air Force and wounded 372 others.
After many meandering months, the outcome on the sanctions resolution was still in doubt as late as Saturday morning because two of our “allies” in this exquisite diplomatic effort “” China (itself a nuclear proliferator with extensive economic ties to Iran) and Russia (Vladimir Putin’s thug-state which is actually helping Iran develop its nuclear capability) “” were still busy watering down measures already so diluted even the Iraq Study Group would have found them fatuous.
The penalties against the regime that sees a world without America and Israel as “attainable” are laughable.
The New York Times reports that all countries would be required to ban “the import and export of materials and technology used in uranium enrichment, reprocessing and ballistic missiles.” Except, well “¦ not so much. The Times and the Associated Press note that the Russians are continuing apace with the construction of Iran’s atomic power plant at Bushehr. They succeeded in having any mention of Bushehr removed from the resolution, while forcing other amendments to ensure that “legitimate” nuclear activities in Iran could continue.
The ballyhooed sanctions also include an asset freeze on twelve Iranian individuals and eleven companies involved in Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. But observe: This is not a freeze on Iran. It affects only a handful of persons and entities “” and even with respect to them, it matters only if they happen to have assets that can be readily identified inside some country that is willing to pierce through a maze of nominees and seize them.
Feigning at some backbone, the U.S. and some of the more “hawkish” members of the coalition (comprised of the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany) also urged that the named Iranians be banned from traveling outside Iran. But even this gambit “” better thought of as a nuisance than a sanction “” was too much for the Russians. Due to their nyet, countries will instead be asked “to exercise vigilance” if the Iranian Dirty Dozen enter or transit through their territory. That”ll show “˜em.
It’s worth rehearsing the sorry history that has led us to this point. Abandoning a long-settled policy against direct negotiations with the Iranian regime, and making a mockery of the Bush Doctrine’s pledge that rogue states would be made to decide whether they were “with us or with the terrorists,” the State Department this spring offered to give the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism everything including the kitchen sink for what would have been the pretense of abandoning its nuclear weapons program.
In so doing, the Bush administration conceded the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic’s development of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes “” notwithstanding that such efforts are generally indistinguishable from arms development. Not content with that, it agreed that Iran should be assisted in that development with light water reactors, spent fuel management instruction, and “a substantive package of research and development co-operation.”
Read it all.