In case you forgot or have been smothered by MSM coverage of the Israel/Lebanon conflict…
Iran took another step towards becoming another footnote in the transformation from the old to the “new Middle East”.
Today, the UN Security Council issued a resolution setting a deadline of one month for Iran to stop all nuclear enrichment work or face the possibility of economic sanctions.
Resolution 1696 is not yet on the UNSC website but it should be here soon.
According to the BBC it mentions Chapter 7, which is the key to beginning the process of sanctions and… eventually, military action.
So here’s the interesting part.
The reason the Resolution has been passed is because Iran never responded to the offer the UN made to it regarding incentives and whatnot to have it stop enrichment of Uranium. The Iranians were supposed to respond by the end of July.
Iran was then refferred to the UNSC on July 12.
What else happened on July 12?
Hezbollah fighters based in southern Lebanon launch Katyusha rockets across the border with Israel, targeting the town of Shlomi and outposts in the Shebaa Farms area.
In a cross-border raid, guerrillas seize two Israeli soldiers before retreating back into Lebanon, insisting on a prisoner exchange and warning against confrontation. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert describes the capture of the soldiers as “an act of war”.
We all know that Hezbollah = Syria/Iran foreign policy
We all know that Israel = US foreign policy
So is what we are seeing right now between Israel and Hezbollah really the first shots of the war between the US and Syria/Iran?
I’d say, at this point… the answer is much closer to being “yes” than no.
The United States is playing along with the UN route as Israel “softens up” the target in Lebanon and uses the opportunity to perhaps gain some more concrete Military Intelligence on the Syrian and Iranian sides.
Along the same lines, if Hezbollah really is an Iranian mouthpeice, then we have seen the Iranian regimes reaction to it’s referral to the UNSC. No doubt Israels response was a little more than they bargained for, but they seem to be holding their own anyway.
(Statements like “the best Arab troops we’ve ever faced” does not bode well for the US for an ground attack on Iran or Syria considering Hezbollah are all trained in those two countries.)
Iran has said they will respond to the package of incentives originally offered in June by August 22nd. The new resolution by the UN gives a deadline of August 31 for the Iranians to stop all enrichment work and comply with inspections.
I don’t expect all this talk of “lasting solutions” by Rice and Bush and Blair and company to lead anywhere before those two dates. In the meantime, more Lebanese civilians will die… as will Israeli civilians (though on a scale an order of magnitude smaller… and in much smaller proportion to Israeli military deaths)