March 5, 2010
Dear Foreign Minister:
With discussions underway about a sixth UN Security Council resolution on Iran’s nuclear program, we urge you to support the adoption of sanctions that are severe enough to change the Iranian regime’s calculation of the costs of pursuing its present course toward developing nuclear weapons.
Although previous resolutions have not achieved the desired result, they have played a positive role in demonstrating the unity of the international community in the face of Iran’s refusal to implement its international obligations on its nuclear program. However, with Iran’s announcement that it has begun to enrich uranium to 20% U-235, and the IAEA’s confirmation thereof, the benchmark for appropriate sanctions has changed. Political gestures are no longer sufficient. The next sanctions must target the areas of high value to the Iranian regime – its energy and finance sectors – in order to change its cost-benefit calculation and its behavior.
Effective energy and financial sector sanctions are not without precedent. They played an important role in causing Libya to extradite the suspects in the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. Following several fruitless resolutions, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 883 which prohibited the supply of oil equipment to Libya, embargoed Libyan airlines, and froze Libyan funds held overseas.
As terrible as the Lockerbie bombing was, the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons merits an even stronger response by the international community. Should agreement only be possible instead on weaker sanctions, the UN Security Council will be sending the message that it is incapable of taking commensurate measures against perhaps the most serious threat to world security.
We hope all members of the UN Security Council will assume their responsibility and fulfill the duties entrusted to them by the United Nations Charter.
Abraham H. Foxman