New report that Iran is amassing more low-enriched uranium – and has enough to make two nuclear bombs – is likely to spur the move toward tougher sanctions. But Israel's raid on Gaza aid flotilla may stall any international action on Iran.
Iran has continued to amass larger quantities of low-enriched uranium and is successfully moving on to a higher degree of enrichment, according to a new report by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency.
But these same analysts add that Monday’s storming by Israeli commandos of a Turkish-flagged ship carrying aid to Gaza is a new “wild card” in the sanctions diplomacy that could at least put off a resolution vote on Iran. The international uproar over the Israeli raid on the aid flotilla could also mean a sanctions vote is stalled long enough for the resolution to be watered down further, others say.
“I think this new report should have the effect of strengthening the determination of the council to proceed to tougher sanctions,” says James Phillips, a Mideast expert at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. “But now it seems that with this incident with the not-so-peaceful flotilla, the vote may be pushed back – and we could even see some sanctions in [the resolution] stripped out.”
Others say the flotilla incident may delay but will not derail a Security Council resolution, given the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s latest report.