Iran : Obama’s throbbing chant and the doormats
Yesterday in Washington, the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, whose country sieges in the Security Council until end 2010, expressed his opposition to newer sanctions on Iran. Obama announced that he had failed to convince Erdogan of the necessity of newer sanctions that he had promised for the beginning of 2010 in case of a diplomatic failure of a nuclear agreement. The argument is faulty, for he had promised American unilateral sanctions for which he needs no authorisation from an allied country. Washington is looking for excuses. | Deciphering |
In the beginning of the year at the time of his induction as President, Obama had offered what the Mullahs demanded from Bush : a direct dialogue without preliminary conditions. For the Mullahs this was synonymous of a de facto recognition of their rights, in other words that the American sanctions were unjustified. It should have been a step towards the lifting of all the American sanctions on Tehran. However, Obama’s offer did not evoke this crucial point, all the contrary. By offering Tehran their demand of a direct dialogue, Obama deprived them of excuses to force them to sit at the negotiating table while the sanctions were still in place. The situation turned against Tehran, for accepting the dialogue meant that they recognized that the sanctions were justified. This direct dialogue would have been a detriment in Tehran’s great popularity amongst the Arab public opinion, a virtual ally that permits them to act as the black sheep of the region with all the excess that we know of via their numerous militia groups. Tehran would have lost all its influence and the Mullahs would have capitulated. That is why Tehran refused the dialogue and demanded the lift of all sanctions prior to talks. In response to this demand Obama evoked the limit date of end 2009 for newer sanctions that terrorize the Mullahs : an embargo on gasoline, a measure that could lead to a fatal social explosion for the regime in Iran.
Now, the Americans are looking for excuses to avoid these sanctions for their objective was to scare the Mullahs in order to make them their allies in their global strategy of destabilization of Central Asia and the Chinese Uyghur province and not to provoke their fall. When Washington evoked this possibility it believed that in light of the regime’s poor economic situation, in particular to the statistics of their exchanges with Europe, the Mullahs would be on their knees way before end of 2009 and that there would be no need for a gasoline embargo.
The Mullahs disturbed the U.S. estimate by drawing on bank reserves of private individuals, notably the Bazaris, forcing the Obama Administration to search for excuses or legal obstacles to prevent an unwanted embargo capable of causing their future regional ally’s demise.
A step-by-step scenario was imagined by the Obama team in order to avoid sanctions without losing face to the American public opinion extremely disappointed by the change in the discourse of a President they elected for change.
In a first step, the Administration shifted from a warning of sanctions being imposed as of January 1st 2010 to a lighter version for March 2010 or later. Then this embargo was forgotten in order to evoke the importance of U.N. sanctions on the base of a unanimously adopted resolution.
The next step came from Brazil, a future non-permanent member of the Security Council as of January 2010. President Lula, who presently give’s Obama numerous taps in the back, has expressed his categorical opposition to any further sanctions on Tehran. Then it was the turn of Russia, a very recent U.S. ally since the sacrifice of the Eastern European anti-missile project : Vladimir Putin in a press conference implicitly expressed his doubts on the necessity of imposing newer sanctions on Tehran. Turkey that also holds a non-permanent seat in the Security Council just added its opposition voice to the concert taking a further step to the hold-off of the gasoline embargo promised by Obama.
Other allies of Washington that hold seats or will be holding seats in the Security Council in 2010  could also hold a role in this comedy in order to permit the Obama Administration to justify a postponement of the promised embargo on gasoline for an additional year, a date limit that could either be renewed once more or applied according to a change in the U.S. regional strategy.
 The U.N. Security Council is composed of 15 members, 5 of which are permanent – China, USA, Russia, France and the UK – and 10 members elected by the General Assembly for a two year mandate : Austria (end of mandate in 2011), Bosnia-Herzegovina (2012), Brazil (2012), Gabon (2012), Japan (2011), Lebanon (2012), Mexico (2011), Nigeria (2012), Turkey (2011), Uganda (2012).