“GCC offering Moscow, Beijing incentives to support Iran sanctions”

“GCC offering Moscow, Beijing incentives to support Iran sanctions”
September 24-30, 2009
     Despite Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s comment that sanctions against Iran may be “inevitable”, many US analysts are skeptical that Russia and China will endanger their commercial ties with Iran by supporting additional sanctions (Associated Press). Mark Heinrich points out that Moscow has “backpedaled” from Medvedev’s comments and calls Beijing the “toughest holdout” against sanctions, arguing that additional sanctions will be “watered down” by the two countries (Reuters). Shi Yinhong agrees that Beijing will try to dilute, rather than veto, additional sanctions. Michael Wines outlines China’s energy interests in Iran, which include an estimated $120 billion in Iranian oil and gas projects, and writes that Tehran has skillfully used its resources to maintain Chinese support in the UN (New York Times).
     Julian Borger reports that the GCC states are trying to persuade Moscow and Beijing to support sanctions by offering economic incentives. GCC advisor Sami al-Faraj indicates that the incentives may include establishing free trade arrangements, developing markets for Russian weapons, and providing oil exploration agreements and worker visas for China. However, Borger quotes an unnamed European official who is skeptical of the GCC’s ability to work cohesively (The Guardian). GCC envoys recently met with P5+1 officials to establish a more proactive role in the Iranian nuclear issue (The National, US Department of State).
Associated Press | Reuters | New York Times | The Guardian | The National | US Department of State

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