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Moscow has warned Iran that sanctions will become inevitable
Moscow has warned Iran that sanctions will become inevitable if it does not comply with the previous resolutions of the UN Security Council, which urge it to stop all work on uranium enrichment.

Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin made this serious warning at a video news conference for the Russian media.

He pointed out that if Iran does not observe these resolutions, the Security Council will be compelled to discuss one more resolution on Iran in accordance with Article 41 of the UN Charter. Russia is one of the six countries negotiating this dispute, and has a commitment to support the resolution that the Six has drafted during the last month.

It became clear a long time ago that Moscow would have to make this decision. It will have far-reaching consequences, primarily for Iran.

Article 41 provides only for economic sanctions. What matters here is not the nature of sanctions but their inevitability. The Security Council's prestige is at stake. Tehran has simply ignored its two previous resolutions, having accused their authors of arrogance.

What are the consequences of these sanctions for Iran's political leaders? To understand this better, we should look at the dynamics of Iran's domestic political life and the role played in it by the nuclear program.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made the nuclear program the backbone of his domestic policy, which has been a failure on the whole. He has not fulfilled most of his populist promises made during the election campaign. The economy is going through hard times. Against this background, his team has already lost the elections to the Council of Experts, the most powerful government mechanism in Iran, to their main opponents - the reformers.

Now Ahmadinejad is trying to score points on the eve of parliamentary elections scheduled for March 14. Once again, he is placing his bets on the nuclear program, which he has made a national priority.

A few days ago, at Ahmadinejad's suggestion Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Khamenei congratulated the Iranian people on the victory over the world powers in their struggle for the nuclear program. He described it as the greatest triumph since the Islamic revolution. This jubilation was based on yet another report by IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei. Ahmadinejad assured the religious leader and the nation that the report confirms the correctness of Iran's course toward developing its nuclear program.

Now it transpires that this is an instance of wishful thinking on Iran's behalf. The Security Council's forthcoming verdict on the "peaceful" character of Iran's nuclear program may be diametrically opposite to what the Iranian leaders have promised their compatriots. Reflecting the opinion of IAEA experts, the report says that Iran's nuclear facilities have become more accessible but its readiness to meet the observers halfway is not sufficient to conclude that it is not developing nuclear weapons.

This time, ElBaradei's report has every chance to make the Iranian president's life difficult. His opponents will not leave his miscalculation unattended. He has already been warned in public against misinterpreting IAEA documents on Iran's nuclear program.

Political analyst Parviz Esmaeili, who is well known in Tehran, said that there were grounds to hope that Iranian diplomacy had gained enough experience in the last few years. He said with regret that hasty decisions, amateurish diplomatic steps, and wrong analysis of documents (IAEA reports) might create major problems for Iran in the future. This is exactly what happened.

By tradition, reports by the IAEA director general are passed to its Board of Governors one or two weeks before the session. Thus, the report will be published officially no sooner than March 3.

It is important to know when the Security Council will convene its session on which it will pass a resolution on tougher sanctions. Will this happen after the parliamentary elections on March 14 or before? If it takes place before this day, Ahmadinejad's opponents will get a big advantage.

Most likely, American diplomacy will make sure that a new resolution is passed at the right time.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.


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