Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New UN Sanctions Make US-Iran War More Likely

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1803: Casus Belli

by William H. White
Global Research, March 12, 2008

"Passage of the third United Nations Security Council sanctions resolution against Iran makes a war between the United States and Iran more likely. The Bush administration has been pressing the United Nations Security Council for months to pass a third set of sanctions against Iran, which the council passed as resolution 1803 on March 3, 2008. As part of this effort, the United States delegation has shown uncharacteristic flexibility regarding various provisions of the draft resolution, as Secretary of State Rice and other administration officials have repeatedly called for swift passage of the resolution.

There is reason to suspect the Bush administration’s push for passage is actually focused on a single item: Provision (11), which calls upon member states to inspection of cargo bound to or from Iran. This is based on two fundamental assessments: 1) the Bush administrations has long planned to attack Iran; and, 2) the rationales for these attacks have shifted from nuclear weapons development to direct responsibility for US casualties in Iraq. And now it is likely a new shift in rationale is underway, claiming hostile actions against US vessels and using Provision (11) to create the pretext.

Provision (11) of Resolution 1803 (2008) reads as follows:

Calls upon all States, in accordance with their national legal authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, in particular the law of the sea and relevant international civil aviation agreements, to inspect the cargoes to and from Iran, of aircraft and vessels, at their airports and seaports, owned or operated by Iran Air Cargo and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line, provided there are reasonable grounds to believe that the aircraft or vessel is transporting goods prohibited under this resolution or resolution 1737 (2006) or resolution 1747 (2007);

It is likely that the Bush administration will now move swiftly, within the next few weeks, to use this authority to create a casus belli for attacking Iran....."

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