The United Nations Security Council on Monday approved a third round of sanctions against Iran for refusing to stop enriching uranium. Key nations also offered Tehran incentives to start talking again. (Los Angeles Times, free registration) Russia urged Iran to comply, but Tehran called the resolution “unacceptable.” (Reuters)
What the commentators said
Iran has only itself to blame for any pain these sanctions cause, said the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Zalmay Khalilzad, in The Wall Street Journal. Its “violations of Security Council resolutions not only continue, but are deepening.” The latest International Atomic Energy Agency report says Iran is still refusing to “fully disclose” its past nuclear activities. The U.S. remains committed to a diplomatic solution, but Iran isn’t making that easy.
“The time for non-military options is rapidly running out,” said The Jerusalem Post in an editorial. “While more UN sanctions are welcome, what is critical is for Europe to stop the one percent of its foreign trade that is with Iran, which amounts to 40 percent of Iran's trade with the world. This economically insignificant step for Europe could spell the difference between a freer and more peaceful world and one held hostage by the grinning megalomaniac who visited Baghdad.”
Arab media called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent visit to Iraq a historic victory for his country, said Patrice Claude in the French daily Le Monde. And Tehran is certainly acting like the post-Sept. 11 elimination of two neighboring enemies—the Taliban and Saddam Hussein—has made it more powerful in the region. But the great “irony” is that Ahmadinejad never would have been able to visit Baghdad without American forces there to keep calm, and with Iran now surrounded by American military bases its ability to safely make mischief will be limited.