News

Experts Debate Possibility, Effectiveness of Further Iran Sanctions

How best to deal with Iran and its nuclear ambitions was a major theme throughout President Bush's just completed tour of European countries.  He spoke again of all options to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and found some support in Europe for further sanctions against Tehran.  But, views are mixed about whether the current strategy will have an effect.  VOA's Sonja Pace reports from London.

Iran came up at nearly every stop on President Bush's Europe visit and his message remained much the same, as again during a news conference in London.

"To provide pressure necessary to solve the problem diplomatically, that is my first choice.  Iranians must understand that all options are on the table, however," he said.

The options include increased sanctions and isolation for Iran if it continues its nuclear enrichment program, or help to develop its civilian nuclear energy program and increased business, trade and investment if it stops producing its own nuclear fuel.

Talks have been ongoing and the European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, delivered a new package of economic incentives to the Iranians on Saturday in an effort to get them to comply with international demands to stop enriching uranium that could be used for nuclear weapons.

Speaking alongside President Bush in London on Monday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned Iran that time is running out.

"If Iran continues to ignore resolutions, to ignore our offers of partnership, we have no choice, but to intensify sanctions - and so today Britain will urge Europe and Europe will agree to take further sanctions against Iran," he said.

Mr. Brown announced that Britain is freezing overseas assets of Iran's largest bank and he vowed action on a new phase of sanctions on the oil and gas sectors.

Iran remains defiant with the official Iranian news agency quoting Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Reza Sheikh Attar as saying uranium enrichment would continue.

At the Center for Arab and Iranian Studies in London, Iran analyst Ali Reza Nourizadeh tells VOA the international community must stay firm.

"This time President Bush and Prime Minister Brown and other European leaders are telling Iranians that they are more serious than before and this proposal is the last one," he said.  "Take it or leave it."

Nourizadeh says that might get Iran to finally negotiate in good faith.

Others are not so sure.  Political analyst, Michael Cox of the London School of Economics says targeted sanctions can have an impact, but notes that divisions within the international community make getting tougher and more comprehensive sanctions less likely.

"When oil prices are running at between $135 to $140 a barrel, when Russia and China, two permanent members of the Security Council, are not prepared to go with sanctions and indeed some European countries are not very keen on sanctions, including France and Germany," he explained.  "On all those issues I think it is going to be very difficult to get a really serious sanctions regime."

Cox says the high price of oil is making the Iranians confident they can outlast any sanctions threat.  As for the ultimate military option, Cox says the Europeans are vehemently against it.

Iran insists it wants to develop nuclear power for peaceful means only, but many in the international community do not believe that and fear Iran could soon have a nuclear weapon.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs