Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Norm Coleman INACTION : Iran Sanctions

The US State Department announced that the six nations (U.N. Security Council's five permanent members, all nuclear powers, plus Germany) will meet on Sept. 21 in Washington to discuss the use of sanctions, or the threat of them, to persuade Iran to drop disputed nuclear work.

This May, The Jewish Policy Center asked Senator Norm Coleman to evaluate the performance of Congress and the Bush Administration in curbing the Iranian threat.
Coleman responded ”Congress has acted decisively by passing the legislation to sanction Iran and support movements that seek regime change. Our message is that, through external and internal pressure, there will be great costs to pursuing a nuclear path.
The executive branch has worked tirelessly to isolate Iran through diplomatic means. I am frustrated that we have not yet imposed stronger multilateral sanctions through the U.N. This situation stems mainly from the economic interests of some of our international partners. Iran wields considerable influence because of its oil resources. Still, we must tell our partners that we expect them to act responsibly.

Hearing Coleman’s words, one would think that he and the State Department are doing everything possible to make sanctions work but it is the other UN members that are failing.

However, it has now been reported that the Bush Administration acknowledges “that the United States has not carried out existing Security Council penalties on several companies linked to Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

Why is that ?

My assessment is that the Bush Administration is not truly committed to diplomacy. Much like their unwillingness to accept the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigation of Iraq, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is now complaining that “The IAEA is not in the business of diplomacy." By the US slowing up instituting sanctions, it will claim that sanctions are not working.

Coleman is uniquely charged to take action He was outspoken that sanctions did not work with Iraq. He has been outspoken of the failings of the United Nations. When Coleman was selected to be the Ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, he said ”I also want to focus attention on the destabilizing effect of Iran and its nuclear program and support for terrorism. Additionally, I will use this position to continue to articulate my strong support for our allies as well as the need for an even-handed approach to Middle East peace and an end to terror.” Additionally, Bush selected Coleman to be a Congressional Delegate to the United Nations 61st General Assembly.

Coleman needs to do something about this. Idle rhetoric praising Bush’s State Department is not responsible. Instead he needs a careful examination of its failings. Otherwise, we risk magnifying this into a crisis of our own doing.

If Coleman is not up to the task, then he should resign from the Foreign Relations Committee.

To paraphrase, Senator Coleman, "we must tell the Bush Administration that we expect them to act responsibly" which could produce "an even-handed approach to Middle East peace and an end to terror.”

1 comment:

IAblogger said...

The United States and Israel have been working for at least the last couple of years to isolate Iran from the world community and have been failing miserably. InternetActivist.Org has done a comprehensive recent media survey of how this effort has been going among all United Nations member states. The results are that 79 UN member states are currently entering into new agreements with Iran, expanding existing agreements, or otherwise enhancing cooperation with the Islamic Republic. Conversely, only 11 states are actively trying to isolate Iran and/or are threatening violence; all of whom except one are primarily white and dominated by right-wing governments. The remaining member states aren’t really involved at all, neither dealing with Iran nor actively campaigning against it.

To see who is enhancing their relationships with Iran (with documentation & links), to see who is trying to isolate or pressure Iran (also with documentation and links), as well as who is just staying uninvolved, visit: or specifically:

This is a very comprehensive “report card” on how the US/Israeli effort to isolate Iran has fared.