Monday's meeting, hosted by British Foreign Office Director John Sawers, occurred hours after a letter came to light detailing Britain's approach to Iran. The confidential document from Sawers laid out a scenario to try to get Russia and China behind increasingly tough measures to pressure Iran to abandon uranium enrichment and reprocessing.
Sawers said Britain's assessment is that the Iranians "will not feel under much pressure" from a Security Council statement alone, "and they will need to know that more serious measures are likely."
He envisioned adoption of a follow-up Security Council resolution in early May which would make Iran's suspension of uranium enrichment mandatory. Britain wants the resolution adopted under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, which means it would be militarily enforceable, Sawers said.
This highlights one of many problems the US is facing with the Iran situation. Prior to the Iraq invasion, they had a flimsy "legal" excuse for military action via a very broad reading of UN Resolution 1441. But with regards to Iran, they have no legal cover yet, and as I've mentioned before, they're unlikely to get it because Iran has slyly allied itself with Russia and China--especially China with energy deals--and Moscow and Bejing can stall on a resolution for years. Furthermore, I think both Russia and China have drawn a line in the sand at the Iran border, where they will not tolerate any further US expansion in the region.
In any case, this much is clear: the US is starting up the sanctions/military-action machine all over again to do the same thing to Iran that they did to Iraq. I oppose any sanctions or military action against Iran, even if they were to develop nuclear weapons, and I've written to my political representatives and newspapers to express my opposition, and suggest all those opposed to this repeat of recent history do the same.