Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Will A New Round of Iran Sanctions Have Any Bite?

Posted by K.E. White on April 5, 2010

At Contentions Jennifer Rubin reviews a WSJ article that points out the weakness of current sanctions on Iran.  Specifically the article notes that assets totaling only $43 million have been blocked to the Iranian regime.

But U.S. enforcement is not the problem with the Iranian sanctions.  Instead the problem remains that other countries, significantly Russia and China, do not seize Iranian assets.

Now Rubin is correct to note this grave weakness within the sanctions regime.  But there is a flip side.  While Iran can evade sanctions by going outside the United States or the EU member-states, getting Russia and China to agree to even mild sanctions would have an immediate and profound effect.

So in short, this is all posturing for possible deal-making between P-5 members and Iran.  With reports showing China and Russia possibly on board for sanctions, Iran must be feeling some squeeze.

While Rubin may not consider this enough to deter Iran, she doesn’t really offer another way forward.  And in any case, it only seems fair to size up any new sanctions when they are released.

In related news, Iran remains open to a ‘nuclear swap’ deal—but demands any such swap take place on Iranian territory.  And anyway, maybe the Obama administration has already accepted that Iran will possess nuclear weapons.

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