Iran Sanctions Pass, But Will They Work?

The United Nations punishes Iran's nuclear program

This article is from the archive of our partner .

The United Nations Security Council voted on Wednesday to impose new economic sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program. The resolution, which the U.S. pushed for, was approved by a vote of 12 to 2, with Brazil and Turkey voting against. The vote is seen as a victory for the U.S. and others because Russia and China, which had earlier threatened to veto the measure, both joined in support. What will the sanctions accomplish? And what can we learn from today's UNSC vote?

  • What They're Designed to Do The L.A. Times' Borzou Daragahi explains, "Advocates of the latest set of sanctions say the penalties will pressure Iran by limiting its ability sell oil, buy gasoline or expand its energy infrastructure. They say the new sanctions also are aimed at persuading world banks and companies to avoid business with Iran's Revolutionary Guard, the military branch that now has the upper hand in Iranian politics, business and foreign policy."
  • Too Weak to Change Iran   Commentary's Noah Pollak writes, "The new sanctions have been advertised by the Obama administration as a demonstration of world unity against the Iranian nuclear program. In reality, they are so weak and so lacking in international support that they do nothing more than showcase the fecklessness of Obama's 'smart diplomacy.'" The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg adds, "I don't think that the new sanctions ... will do anything to stop Teheran from continuing its march toward aggressive nuclearization, which has, of course, potentially tragic consequences.
  • Just the Beginning The Washington Independent's Spencer Ackerman predicts, "This will not be the last effort at sanctioning Iran. U.S. and European officials have talked for months about pivoting off a successful Security Council vote to cobble together a coalition of major Iranian trading partners to tighten the economic screws on the Iranian leadership. Those include the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Japan, the European Union, China and Russia. But expect conservative voices to continue a push for a total oil embargo on Iran, as a congressional measure to impose additional gas sanctions was deferred for the vote."
  • U.S. Congress Reacts Politico's Laura Rozen reports, "several members of Congress praised the Obama administration's diplomatic success in New York, while some vowed to pursue more vigorous U.S. unilateral sanctions targeting foreign entities involved in Iran's refined petroleum sector. ... [Rep. Howard Berman (D-Cal.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee] and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) head up a conference committee reconciling Iran sanctions legislation that has already passed both houses of Congress."
  • Secretary Clinton: Toughest Sanctions Ever Foreign Policy's Preeti Aroon reports Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's reaction. "I think it is fair that these are the most significant sanctions that Iran has ever faced. And the amount of unity that has been engendered by the international community is very significant."
  • Secondary Outcome: Turkey's 'Slide Toward Iran' National Review's Michael Rubin writes, "It is a blessing that Turkey is on the United Nations Security Council. For the first several years of Erdogan's premiership, Turkish diplomats tried to be all things to all people, and, as so often happens with American diplomacy, we were willing to accept insincere Turkish statements in closed doors rather than listen to what the Turkish leadership was saying publicly. Today, Turkey decided definitively to side with Iran."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.