Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki today insisted that sanctions would have little effect on Iran while his bombastic boss, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whined about the sanctions. Mottaki wrote letters to the foreign ministers of the fifteen members of the U.N. Security Council that criticized “the hasty adoption, at the insistence of America and its allies, of an unjust and illegal resolution against the great nation of Iran” and asserted that Iran is now “more determined” than ever to push forward on its nuclear program.
Mottaki, an active pen pal, also wrote truculent letters to European Union foreign ministers warning of “dire consequences” because of their decision last week to impose new sanctions on Iran, including bans on foreign investment in Iran’s oil and gas industries. Mottaki insisted that the EU’s new sanctions “will definitely cause far greater losses for the European Union itself rather than for the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
The United States is also set to impose another round of unilateral sanctions on Iran today, as President Obama is slated to sign the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 at a White House ceremony that reportedly will involve congressional leaders. The legislation passed the House and Senate last week by vote of 408-8 and 99-0, respectively. This means that Obama can soon expect a nasty letter from Iran.
Today, Iranian President Ahmadinejad, also gave an interview to Japan’s Kyodo news service in which he blamed Washington for the recent U.N. sanctions vote and blamed Obama for following in the footsteps of the Bush Administration, “an indication of Obama’s failure to bring change.” Ahmadinejad added that the new round of sanctions will affect Tehran’s conditions for entering talks on the nuclear issue: “Our conditions for talks have changed and we will soon release these conditions. Of course our conditions will be totally just and legal.”
But meanwhile, in case its “just and legal” diplomatic efforts fail, Iran is preparing for a possible military clash with Israel. The Wall Street Journal today reported that Tehran had transferred a sophisticated radar system to Syria that will improve the performance of Syrian anti-aircraft defenses. The new radar will not only give Syria an improved early warning capability, but it could make it more difficult for Israel to launch a surprise air strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities or against Hezbollah positions in Lebanon.
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