Axis of Awkwardness Over?
Image Credit: Future Atlas

Axis of Awkwardness Over?

 
 

An encouraging breakthrough in efforts to pass new, tougher sanctions on Iran (well, encouraging if like me you don’t believe Iran is going to willingly address concerns over its nuclear programme without further pressure) looks to have taken place with China apparently agreeing to help draft a new resolution.

China had been under heavy pressure from fellow permanent members of the UN Security Council, France, the UK and United States, to take action over what many Western nations see as Iranian efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

One half of the axis of awkwardness on this issue—Russia—already looked to have shifted, with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev saying at the weekend to members of the League of Arab States that the possibility of using new sanctions couldn’t be ‘excluded’.

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And yesterday, Beijing is said to have committed in a phone call to help draft a new resolution, though the serious negotiations have yet to start. And this is the big question now—how serious is China in at the very least meeting Western nations half way? Agreeing to negotiate is obviously quite different from securing agreement, and meanwhile Iran’s nuclear programme keeps on moving forward.

That said, Tehran’s obviously a little concerned — Iran’s top nuclear negotiator is said to be heading to China to discuss the sanctions push.

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