By Julian Borger (source: The Guardian)
The brisk rejection of a last minute compromise on Iran proposed by Brazil and Turkey has snarled broader UN talks on disarmament and non-proliferation
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the NPT Review Conference at the UN in New York Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images
The rapid flurry of diplomatic activity in the past few days over Iran has collided with the month-long talks in New York on mending the threadbare Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the results have not been pretty. Some observers inside the NPT negotiations are saying the US and other weapons states have sought a quick diplomatic victory over Iran at the expense of the long-term prospects of the global arms control regime.
The Security Council smackdown of Brazil and Turkey’s efforts to secure a compromise over Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile has taken many inside the conference chamber by surprise and triggered a wave of anger over the humiliation of the two countries’ leaders, who had invested considerable political capital in the deal.
The Turks and Brazilians are of course mightily annoyed, but so are many NAM countries who see this week’s sequence of events as yet one more example of P5 arrogance.
All this has come at a delicate moment at the conference. A deal on how to proceed on a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East remains a key to avoiding another fiasco like 2005, as my colleague Ed Pilkington is reporting. There is a meeting on the zone idea on Wednesday afternoon, to talk about what a conference on the issue would look like, what it would discuss, and whether it would be convened by the UN secretary-general.
The details are potentially a deal breaker for Egypt, and if Cairo and other Arab capitals side with Brazil and Turkey, that could spell disaster for the Obama agenda here, which is to get non-weapons states to agree to more intrusive IAEA inspections and more controls on the export of nuclear technology.
That seems a high price to pay, particularly as not much is going to get done on the Iran sanctions resolution until June, after the Lebanese Security Council presidency. So why announce the sanctions package on Tuesday and do so much potential damage at the NPT? It’s not clear.
This report was taken from: Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran