I tried to work a good baseball reference into the title (but failed miserably) since at the water cooler this morning, most of DC was focused on new Washington National Stephen Strasburg’s impressive major league debut, rather than the impending UN Security Council sanctions vote.
In fact, maybe that’s the real reason why the vote was delayed?
After over an hour delay, said to be due to indecision on the part of Lebanon, twelve nations of the 15-member body voted for the resolution. Turkey and Brazil voted against, as was expected, while Lebanon chose to abstain.
Ambassador Susan Rice spoke out strongly against Iran’s actions and addressed ongoing negotiations on the TRR Deal in her remarks following the vote:
Turkey and Brazil have worked hard to make progress on the Tehran Research Reactor proposal—efforts that reflect their leaders’ good intentions to address the Iranian people’s humanitarian needs while building more international confidence about the nature of Iran’s nuclear program. My government will continue to discuss the Iranian-revised proposal and our concerns about it, as appropriate. But the Tehran Research Reactor proposal—then and now—does not respond to the fundamental, well-founded, and unanswered concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. This resolution does.
Later in the day, President Obama said that the new Iran sanctions resolution “demonstrates the growing costs that will come with Iranian intransigence,” but also repeatedly emphasized that the UN sanctions vote does “not close the door on diplomacy.”
Unfortunately, necessary posturing on the part of Iran is likely to make diplomacy difficult in the near future, and Congress is already gearing up to ensure that another round of sanctions is passed by the end of the June.
Rep. Howard Berman praised the passage of this morning’s resolution and confirmed that Congress would be moving forward on gasoline sanctions legislation:
We now look to the European Union and other key nations that share our deep concern about Iran’s nuclear intentions to build on the Security Council resolution by imposing tougher national measures that will deepen Iran’s isolation and, hopefully, bring the Iranian leadership to its senses. The US Congress will do its part by passing sanctions legislation later this month.