Here we go again. That shape-shifting entity known as “the international community” has moved once more to try and stop Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program. In the process, the community shrank by two countries, Turkey and Brazil.
That is the conclusion one can draw from President Barack Obama’s statements on the U.N. Security Council’s vote on June 9 to sanction Iran for failing to halt its production of nuclear fuel. The vote, Obama said, was “an unmistakable message” by the international community and showed its united view on Iran and nuclear arms.
That doesn’t quite square with the fact that Turkey and Brazil, two increasingly important players on the world scene, voted against the 15-member council’s resolution. (Lebanon abstained). But it confirmed an apparent tendency by Western leaders to draw inspiration from Alice in Wonderland (where Iran is concerned).
They echo Humpty Dumpty’s famous assertion on the use of words: “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” The modern, Iran-related version: “When I talk about the international community, I mean those who are with me. Neither more nor less.”
The June 9 resolution vote was the fourth on sanctions and the first with “no” votes. In 2006 and 2007 sanctions resolutions passed unanimously. In 2008, one council member, Indonesia, abstained.