On 9 June 2010, the United Nations Security Council adopted a fourth round of sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran with a strong majority. Brazil and Turkey voted against while Lebanon abstained. The idea of new sanctions dated from September 2009 but had been suspended after Iran accepted to join an international meeting on its nuclear program in October in Geneva. During this meeting, the negotiators concluded a draft agreement on uranium exchange between the countries of the Vienna Group (IAEA, the United-States, France and Russia) and Iran. However, the project failed after Iran changed its mind few weeks later.
Iranian latest decision to start enriching uranium at 20% on February 2010 revived the P5+1 exasperations. Their main request around this issue is that Tehran halts its nuclear enrichment process. Despite the uranium exchange agreement signed by Brazil, Turkey and Iran on 17 May 2010, the P5+1 decided to send a strong signal to Iran through this new round of sanctions. This strategy will continue until Iran complies with the Security Council and the IAEA recommendations.
And just like the three first rounds of sanctions adopted since 2007, this new one will not solve the current crisis and will surely tighten up the Iranian attitude. Furthermore, it is difficult to believe that Iran will change its behavior when the two most important sectors of the Iranian economy (gas and oil markets) are not impacted by the sanctions.
In addition, this new sanctions, in spite of the 17 May agreement, remind Brazil, Turkey and the other emerging countries that the five permanent Members of the Security council are still making the rules of the international diplomacy. This message will not necessarily please these emerging countries.