According to diplomats interviewed by The New York Times, Iran isn’t actually sending mixed messages on the deal reached in Vienna to process Iranian uranium outside the country and thereby put a year back on the clock counting down until Iran is likely to develop a nuclear bomb. It’s rejected the guts of the deal: shipping 75 percent of the uranium for enrichment in Russia and France and returning it to Iran in a form suitable only for providing civilian nuclear power, something the Iranian regime has always claimed is the sole purpose of its nuclear program.
If a formal announcement that the deal is off the table comes today, what will the so-called P5+1 — the U.S., Russia, France, Germany, Britain and China — do? The Times reports that the Obama administration has ruled out one option:
American officials said it was unclear whether Iran’s declaration to Dr. ElBaradei was its final position, or whether it was seeking to renegotiate the deal — a step the Americans said they would not take.
The P5+1 can push through whatever sanctions package they like through the U.N. Security Council. Do they have the unity for such a move?