Monday, September 19, 2005

The big three of the EU get (relatively) tough with Iran

Over the last year we have seen the limits of EU style "soft power" when dealing with Iran. In an effort to prove that they mean business, the three--Germany, France, Britain--are prepared to refer the problem to the Security Council, maybe.
[...] EU diplomats said they had begun drafting a resolution to submit to this week's meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) 35-nation board asking it to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council for possible economic sanctions."The drafting of a resolution sending Iran to the Security Council has begun," an EU diplomat told Reuters.

Although the EU trio would not seek immediate sanctions against Iran, they might consider them in the future if Iran remained defiant, EU diplomats said.

French, British and German officials were due to meet with colleagues from other EU countries on Monday morning ahead of the IAEA board meeting.

Diplomats said EU countries were demanding that any resolution and strategy be agreed by the bloc as a whole.

They added that countries with significant exports to Iran like Italy and Austria were wary of exposing themselves to possible retaliatory measures by Iran. [...]

They must be falling all over one another in Tehran. Their strategy vis a vis Europe has worked beautifully, and they get to watch high comedy in the bargain.

Europe was never one to put principle or future security ahead of either profit or sweeping a problem under the rug.