Obama Finalizes Iran Sanctions Package for United Nations
Last December, after President Obama’s self-imposed deadline for direct, preconditionless negotiations with Iran expired without Iranian receptivity, administration officials told me they were gearing up to place economic sanctions on Iran as soon as they could arrange for international support. The New York Times reports that an actual sanctions package is now making its way through the United Nations Security Council:
The diplomats said the proposed sanctions called for an outright ban on certain transactions with Iran, whereas the existing sanctions called on United Nations members to exercise “vigilance” or “restraint” in interacting with Iran in some areas of weapons trade, shipping and banking. The focus is on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which runs a vast array of Iranian businesses, while the oil industry is not included, diplomats said.
It’s up to Amb. Susan Rice to secure the support of the Russians and the Chinese, without which the sanctions package can’t pass through the Security Council. Diplomats from allied nations have told me they’re prepared to cobble together an ad-hoc sanctions coalition of Iranian trading partners, but their strong preference is for U.N. action.