In a diplomatic blitzkrieg, the Obama Administration has set this coming Monday at 9 a.m. EST for a vote at the UN Security Council (UNSC) in New York on the adoption of the Iran nuclear deal, which was announced by the world’s leading powers and the Islamic Republic of Iran in Vienna on Tuesday.Here is the tweet from the New Zealand delegation:
A terse announcement by the New Zealand delegation which assumed the monthly rotating UNSC’s Presidency for July revealed the vote session.
“The Iran JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) resolution is now under silence and its adoption has been scheduled for Monday 20 July at 9 a.m.,” read the announcement on the Iran deal vote.
#UNSC scheduled to vote on #JCPOA #IranDeal resolution on Monday 20 July at 9am. #NonProliferation #Iran #NZprez— NZ Mission to the UN (@NZUN) July 17, 2015
A Turkish reporter tweeted it with the words "under silence:"
"The #Iran JCPOA resolution is now under silence and its adoption has been scheduled for Monday 20 July at 9am" #UNSC #UN #nuclear #IranDeal— kahraman haliscelik (@turkishreporter) July 17, 2015
From the New Zealand statement’s use of the diplomatic jargon of “under silence,” it appears the UNSC may employ a rarely used “under silence” procedure in such an important vote at the UNSC.If true, this is absolutely outrageous - a controversial vote is being rigged to marginalize, and indeed demonize, anyone who objects. Meaning, Israel.
In an “under silence” adoption procedure, instead of the UNSC holding a normal positive vote, the motion that is set for adoption “under silence” is deemed automatically adopted unless a party specifically objects to the motion. This “under silence” procedure would put the onus on Israel to be the first, and possibly the only, objector to the UNSC’s adoption of the Iran deal.
In the established handbook on diplomacy, G. R. Berridge’s “Diplomacy: Theory and Practice,” the “under silence” procedure is described as being used by the majority where “a proposal with strong support is deemed to have been agreed unless any member raises an objection to it before a precise deadline: silence signifies assent – or, at least, acquiescence. This procedure relies on a member in a minority fearing that raising an objection will expose it to the charge of obstructiveness and, thereby, the perils of isolation.”
So, applying Berridge’s analysis to the “under silence” adoption of the JCPOA at the UNSC, the Obama Administration’s use of the “under silence” procedure would appear to be an attempt to scare Israel into “fearing that raising an objection [to the Iranian nuclear deal] will expose it [Israel] to the charge of obstructiveness and perils of isolation.”
Contrariwise, Israel’s failure to raise an objection would be seen as “assent - or, at least, acquiescence.” To make matters worse for Israel, with Israel’s objection, the UN Security Council would likely then unanimously vote 15-0 for the Iranian deal.
But the bigger issue is that this UNSC vote makes any Congressional action against the JCPOA almost meaningless. As Charles Krauthammer notes in a must-read article:
The action now shifts to Congress. The debate is being hailed as momentous. It is not. It’s irrelevant.The rest of his column is even more devastating.
Congress won’t get to vote on the deal until September. But Obama is taking the agreement to the U.N. Security Council for approval within days . Approval there will cancel all previous U.N. resolutions outlawing and sanctioning Iran’s nuclear activities.
Meaning: Whatever Congress ultimately does, it won’t matter because the legal underpinning for the entire international sanctions regime against Iran will have been dismantled at the Security Council. Ten years of painstakingly constructed international sanctions will vanish overnight, irretrievably.
Even if Congress rejects the agreement, do you think the Europeans, the Chinese or the Russians will reinstate sanctions? The result: The United States is left isolated while the rest of the world does thriving business with Iran.
The game is rigged. The Obama administration is hell-bent on putting moderate lipstick on the Iranian terror-supporting pig. All that the president has said in the past few years, about how serious he takes Iranian cheating and how all options are on the table and how the US red lines will not be crossed, is revealed to be a huge smokescreen. The very few increased controls revealed in the agreement are more than offset by the legitimacy and cash the deal gives Iran, instantly erasing the leverage - both financial and political - built up over years of sanctions. Iran is now an honored member of the world community, while the Gulf nations and Israel are holding the bag.
The naysayers, who have been vilified by the Obama-worshipers, have been proven right. But it is too late.
UPDATE: Omri Ceren at The Israel Project summarizes how this action undermines the Corker bill:
Remember how we got here. The March 9 Cotton letter, signed by 47 Senators, declared that without Congressional buy-in any deal with Iran would not be binding on future presidents . Iranian FM Zarif responded with a temper tantrum in which he revealed that the parties intended to fast-track an UNSCR that would make Congress irrelevant and tie the hands of future presidents: "I wish to enlighten the authors that if the next administration revokes any agreement with the stroke of a pen, as they boast, it will have simply committed a blatant violation of international law". That created a firestorm of criticism from the Hill . Zarif doubled down from the stage at NYU: "within a few days after [an agreement] we will have a resolution in the security council ... which will be mandatory for all member states, whether Senator Cotton likes it or not" .And so Congress responded with the Corker legislation. 98 Senators and 400 Representatives passed the bill with the intention of preventing the Obama administration from immediately going to the U.N. after an agreement and making good on Zarif's boast. President Obama signed the bill. Now the administration is doing exactly what the legislation was designed to prohibit.