“It’s not so much about the spread of nuclear weapons, but more about ... who has the right to control access to advanced nuclear technology,” says Mr. Kile. He says Iran is finding willing listeners because rather than its frequent rhetoric about Israel and Palestine it's focusing on nuclear power as a symbol of modernity. “They’ve actually got a lot of traction on that, especially from countries like Brazil and even Egypt, which has a lot of suspicions about Iran otherwise.”
During a nuclear conference hosted by Tehran 10 days ago, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki declared that Iran would directly lobby all 15 members of the Security Council – except the US, an arch-foe.
US lawmakers are currently considering unilateral legislation that would go much further than the punitive UN measures by blocking refined fuel imports to Iran. Enforcement would require a naval blockade of Iran, which critics note is an act of war.