Positive Signs From China on Iran Sanctions

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Thursday, April 01, 2010 at 9:18 am

Following up on yesterday’s post about China’s disinclination to cross the U.S. and Russia at the United Nations Security Council on Iran sanctions, it looks like Chinese President Hu Jintao will attend President Obama’s big Washington summit in the middle of the month on nuclear security. Iran has to view that as a setback, and probably even a signal of Chinese disinterest in opposing economic sanctions at the Security Council. Indeed, via Laura Rozen, the AP is reporting that the five permanent members of the Security Council have all agreed to take up a resolution on sanctioning Iran for its nuclear enrichment activity.

This is big for Obama. Ever since Friday’s announcement of the New START arms-reduction treaty with the Russians, the administration has painted a picture of cascading and compounding action over the next couple of months on Obama’s anti-nuclear agenda: the treaty; the Prague signing of the treaty next week; next week’s (almost certain) release of the administration’s Nuclear Posture Review; the Washington nuclear-security conference; action on Iran’s dubiously-legal enrichment at the Security Council; a May conference on strengthening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

No one expects, as Obama said last year in Prague, to get to a world without nuclear weapons in the next several decades, let alone one year. But the next several months are about creating and entrenching what a world that at least embraces that ultimate objective would look like.

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