A post by Pat
Is this the U.N. Security Council’s idea of biting sanctions against Iran?
Last week the Iranians held a dinner party that only in the sugar coated world of diplomacy had any meat. The U.S. normally doesn’t attend Iranian dinners. This time we sent a low level Wolff.
The diplomatic delicacies included Chinese and franks. Even though we can smell the Iranians are preparing a mushroom cloud for a future occasion, sanctions were not on the table at this party. You can bet nothing was Kosher.
If you can swallow it, these are the reasons the dinner satiated the already engorged diplomats:
“We see this as an opportunity for Iran to show the council that they’re prepared to play by the rules and meet their obligations,” a U.S. official said before Thursday’s dinner, to explain why Washington was taking part.
“This meeting is another indication of the lengths the Iranians are going to make their case,” he said. “They clearly recognize that the ongoing efforts in the Security Council and elsewhere are isolating them and doing them harm.”
U.N. ambassadors of the United States, Britain, France and Russia did not attend the dinner meeting with Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki organized by Iran’s U.N. mission, but sent lower level diplomats. Washington was represented by Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff.
Most other council members sent ambassadors to the dinner at the Iranian ambassador’s residence in Manhattan. They included Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong, the only chief of mission from the five permanent council members to attend.
Japanese Ambassador Yukio Takasu indicated there had been no concrete outcome. “We are not here to negotiate, we are here to exchange frank general ideas,” he told reporters through an interpreter. “There was no talk about sanctions. What is important is that most Security Council members are here.
Wolff declined to comment except to say that “the dinner was very good.” Other envoys left without speaking to journalists.
In March President Obama placed an order for sanctions in weeks, not months. Perhaps he fancied himself to be a preferred customer at the U.N. slop kitchen. The service is really slow. Apparently he’s not that hungry after all. I think he just doesn’t have the appetite for it.