Much has been said about the U.S. ambassador’s warning to India including our own take. Still, we believe that the subject merits further discussion. About the Iran nuclear deal, it looks like even President Bush now endorses Russia’s plan, though Iran seems lukewarm to the offer. European powers have realized this change and are calling for a meeting to decide further course of action. It is highly likely that all parties concerned will pursue a diplomatic path. We hope that Iran will accept the offer and take up Russia’s enrichment plan. So where does India’s potential vote in the IAEA stands amidst all this?
Assuming the worst-case scenario, let’s see what will happen if the matter is eventually referred to the IAEA board. Presently, the IAEA board consists of the following members:
Member States represented on the IAEA Board for 2005-2006 are Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Republic of, Libya, Norway, Portugal, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Venezuela, and Yemen.
Recall that back in September only Venezuela voted for Iran. If a voting scenario comes again, irrespective of India’s vote and barring worthies such as Cuba, China, Syria, Yemen and Venezuela the rest are likely to vote with the West or abstain at the most. Since only a simple majority is needed for the motion to pass, the resolution will easily be referred to the UN Security Council where India has no vote. Thus the decision to apply UN sanctions will solely rest on China and Russia. Bottom line: India’s vote simply does’nt matter. So what gives the latest diplomatic stand-off? Point to ponder.
PS: Given the cowboy Bush’s current military misadventure in Iraq, we think a military option against Iran is ruled out for the moment. Assuming the second option, if the West infact manages to imposes economic sanctions against Iran, what happens next? It will drive ordinary Iranians against the West into to the arms of hardline Mullahs. An oil embargo driving the price of oil barrel to $100-$200? An economic sanction that will starve millions of ordinary Iranians just like it happened in Iraq in the 90’s. We think that these issues should be thought through in depth.