A PLEA TO OUR EXPERTS. For the reasons that Suzanne Nossel outlines here, I am tempted to think that a Chapter 7 Security Council resolution could offer the international community the necessary diplomatic leverage to get Iran back into the fold. And it is refreshing, for once, to see the United States and the EU-3 (France, Germany, and the U.K.) on the same page as they work together to draft a resolution that invokes Chapter 7 but is also palatable to the Russians and Chinese. To be sure, this effort may be futile and suggest that the Euro-American alliance simply cannot use the Council to pressure Iran.
But how bad of an outcome is a Security Council paralyzed over Iran? In today�s Guardian, Scott Ritter urges the EU-3 to join with China and Russia in blocking a Security Council resolution that would put the Iranian nuclear program under Chapter 7 mandate. Such a resolution, Ritter argues, would merely be pretext for an eventual unilateral American war against Iran.
I�m not willing to go that far. But there is the important point to be made that Iran is nowhere near acquiring nuclear weapons and there is nothing particularly urgent about the Iranian nuclear situation. It is also important to note that the United States has not committed itself to the UN process to the same extent as our European allies. There is always the chance -- as Ambassador John Bolton said during today�s congressional hearings -- that the United States could simply abandon the UN and work bilaterally with other countries to ratchet up the pressure on Iran. But in doing so, we will push ourselves ever closer to the dangerous precipice of war with Iran. And as Steve Clemons points out on the Washington Note, with the United States and Iran on the brink, a single misstep or miscalculation could forever change America�s posture in the world.
On the question of the wisdom of seeking a Chapter 7 Security Council resolution, I am thoroughly perplexed. Consider this post a plea to the Ph.D.�s and former NSC and State Department officials at American Abroad, Democracy Arsenal and elsewhere. As Matt said the other day, the silence has been deafening. Please weigh in.
--Mark Leon Goldberg