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Posts Tagged ‘ iran UN sanctions ’

  • 9 June 2010
  • Posted By Patrick Disney
  • 0 Comments
  • Diplomacy, Nuclear file, Sanctions, UN

UN Sanctions Pass, US Rejects Fuel Swap Deal

The UN Security Council passed a new round of sanctions against Iran this morning, by a vote of 12 in favor, 2 opposed, and one abstention.

At the same time, American diplomats have reported that the US, along with Russia and France, has rejected the nuclear fuel swap deal recently negotiated by Brazil and Turkey.

In a startling display of irony, Obama Administration officials touted the UN sanctions vote as a display of significant international unity.  This, despite the fact that today’s was the first sanctions vote that passed without the support of all 15 members of the Security Council.  The previous three rounds of sanctions — negotiated by Ambassador John Bolton — were all passed unanimously without a single no-vote.

The Administration’s rhetoric is now starting to sound hollow.  For over a year, Obama Administration officials have repeatedly said they are committed to a dual-track strategy on Iran — one that involves a careful balance of both sanctions and diplomacy. Yet the timing of today’s announced rejection of the fuel swap deal belies their previous promises about being committed to negotiations.

The US can’t send a clearer signal to Iran than they did today: the Obama Administration is committed to imposing greater amounts of sanctions and pressure on Iran, and it will not let diplomacy get in the way of those sanctions — not even when diplomacy leads to the biggest nuclear concession Iran has made since Obama took office.

UN Sanctions Vote Expected Wednesday

Via Laura Rozen, the United Nations Security Council is expected to vote on a new round of Iran sanctions Wednesday.

The United Nations Security Council is expected to vote on a new Iran sanctions resolution on Wednesday, two diplomatic sources have told POLITICO.

“The goal is Wednesday,” one European diplomat said of the anticipated vote date.

“Vote is likely Wednesday,” another diplomatic source in New York said.

The UN vote, which is likely to pass 12-3 with Turkey, Brazil and Lebanon voting nay, is expected to have two major impacts.  The first will be to take the pressure off of the Congressional sanctions push.

Congress, which has been finalizing legislation sanctions Iran’s petroleum imports for weeks, had up until recently written off the UN process as weak and ineffectual.  But recently, Democratic leaders have slowed things down to give the UN time to approve its own measure, which the Obama Administration insists will serve as a useful “legal platform” for further sanctions that individual countries agree to impose.

Now that the UN is planning to go ahead with its resolution, Congress might become more open to some of the Administration’s requests for changes in the final version of the bill (many of which echoed NIAC’s own suggested changes to the legislation).

The second thing that is sure to be effected by UN action is the proposed fuel swap deal negotiated by Brazil and Turkey. But it’s difficult to say what that impact will be: either the deal continues ahead, or (perhaps more likely) it could be blown to bits.

As a group of prominent nonproliferation and Iran experts have said, the nuclear fuel swap — while inadequate in the eyes of some — is a worthwhile diplomatic opening that the US would do well to exploit.  But it’s hard to tell at this moment whether Iran will live up to its promise of walking away from any deal following a new sanctions resolution.  Prominent lawmaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar said last week:

If (the West) issues a new resolution against Iran, we will not be committed to Tehran’s statement and dispatching fuel outside Iran will be canceled.

So there’s a lot at stake here, and it all hinges on how Iran reacts to the upcoming sanctions vote.  For the US, that will mean either Obama runs the table — passing new sanctions in the UN and Congress, removing one bomb’s worth of nuclear material from Iran, and possibly even kick-starting comprehensive negotiations over important issues like human rights and the nuclear issue; or new sanctions that no one thinks will actually change Iran’s behavior.

Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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