(by Benny Avni, NYSun.com) UNITED NATIONS – Expected to end the month of August with a bang, the divided
[United Nations] Security Council concluded its meetings yesterday with
a whimper, failing to mark the expiration of a deadline presented for
Iran to freeze its nuclear-related activity and passing a resolution
that fell short of assuring that international troops would be deployed
immediately to stop genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Told by the
Security Council to suspend all enrichment and reprocessing activities
before yesterday, Iran instead stepped them up, while obstructing the
work of inspectors who came to verify the suspension, according to a
report presented to council members yesterday by the U.N. nuclear

The director of
the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed El-Baradei, wrote in
yesterday’s report to the council that his Vienna-based agency was
“unable to make further progress” in confirming “the peaceful nature of
Iran’s nuclear program.”

Tehran is “not
being forthcoming,” the American U.N. ambassador, John Bolton, said
after receiving the IAEA report. “From all that we can see in this
report, it continues to pursue a nuclear weapons capability.”

The State
Department’s point man on Iran’s diplomacy, Nicholas Burns, traveled to
Europe, where along with Britain, France, and Germany he contemplated
presenting to the council a package of sanctions, starting with a sales
ban on nuclear-related materials and leading to travel restrictions on
top Iranian officials, as well as other economic sanctions.

But two
veto-wielding members on the council, China and Russia, publicly
opposed any meaningful sanctions. Russia, specifically, is expecting a
lucrative deal on the Bushehr plant being built in Iraq. Several
diplomats said yesterday that the council would not move on a sanction
resolution prior to late September, when foreign ministers and heads of
states gather in New York for the annual General Assembly’s debate, if
they made a moved of any sort, which was also possible.

Meanwhile, even
some of America’s allies might hesitate to apply tough measures. While
deploring Iran’s “unsatisfactory” response to the council’s incentives
offer, the French foreign minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, said in a
statement yesterday, “Priority must still be given to the path of

On Sudan,
meanwhile, the council decided, after weeks of negotiations, to
establish a force of up to 17,300 military troops and up to 3,300
civilian police that would replace or absorb the existing contingency
of 7,000 African Union observers in Darfur, whose mandate ends next

But the council
resolution, which passed without the support of Russia, China, and the
Arab representative on the council, Qatar – is conditional upon
Khartoum’s approval, stating that the council “invites the consent” of
the government. So far, President al-Bashir has steadfastly refused to
allow any U.N.-led force to enter Darfur.

According to Mr.
Bolton, Sudan’s consent is not necessary for Turtle Bay to begin
planning the deployment of the new force. “We’re not looking for
billboards on the highway into Khartoum accepting the resolution,” he
said. “We’ll be happy with acquiescence.”

“No one can
deploy without Sudan’s consent,” a U.N. spokesman, Stephane Dujarric,
told The New York Sun yesterday, adding that the department of
peacekeeping operations has nevertheless been active in recruiting
potential troop contributors.

Although the
African Union has asked the U.N. to send troops to strengthen its
presence in Darfur, another organization that includes Sudan as a
member, the Arab League, has stood behind the Bashir government’s
opposition to foreign troops.

In Khartoum, the
government-owned news agency SUNA quoted officials as saying, “The
Sudanese people will not consent to any resolution that will violate
its sovereignty.” The leadership called on the Sudanese people to
“strengthen further their cohesion and ranks, and prepare to face any
development,” the Associated Press reported.

last-minute changes were made to yesterday’s council resolution, three
powerful council members abstained, in a move expected to add fuel to
Khartoum’s defiance.

Similar defiance
was displayed in Iran yesterday. Tehran “will never renounce peaceful
nuclear energy and its absolute right,” President Ahmadinejad said,
apparently anticipating that Russia and China would not join an
American-led drive to impose sanctions.

“We do not need
unanimity,” Mr. Bolton told reporters yestedray, recalling the failure
of Turtle Bay’s predecessor, the League of Nations, in which every
decision needed the consent of all members for it to pass.

Reprinted here with permission from The New York Sun. Visit the website at NYSun.com.


1. a) What did the U.N. Security Council require Iran to do by August 31st? 
b) How did Iran respond by this deadline? (para. 2 & 15)

2. a) What is the purpose of the IAEA
b) What did Mohammed El-Baradei, director of the IAEA, conclude about Iran in his August 31st report?

3.  What did America’s Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, conclude about Iran’s nuclear program?

4.  The U.N.
Security Council offered incentives to Iran to end their nuclear
program.  The Council warned that it would impose sanctions on Iran if
they did not comply by Aug. 31st.  Iran did not comply. What did the
Council do?

5.  The ethnic cleansing and genocide in Sudan has been going on since 2003. 
a) What has the Security Council now decided to do to end the genocide against the Sudanese people by their own government?
b) What is the problem with this solution?

6.  What do you think about the U.N. Security Council’s effectiveness in solving world problems?  Explain your answer.


Iran’s 20
year secret nuclear program was discovered in 2002.  Iran continues to
insist that its program is for fuel purposes only, but it has been
working on uranium enrichment which is used to make nuclear bombs. 
Under the United Nation’s NPT (Non
Proliferation Treaty) countries are not allowed to make nuclear weapons
(except those that had weapons when the treaty was signed). The
U.S. succeeded in getting the UN’s IAEA (International
Atomic Energy Agency) to refer Iran to the UN Security Council in
February 2006.  The Secuity Council then said if Iran did not end their
nuclear work by August 31st sanctions would be imposed on them (to get
Iran to comply with the NPT).


For background information on the genocide in Sudan, go to the Human Rights Watch website here.

For further
information on the crisis in Sudan, read an article by the director of
Freedom House’s Center for Religious Freedom here.

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