Lack of International Consensus on Sanctions against Iran

Sarkozy's unsuccessful efforts to reach consensus with fellow EU states and Russia concerning economic sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program implies that the likelihood of an international deal with Iran may increase.

French President Sarkozy visited Russian President Putin last week to discuss sanctions against Iran's nuclear program, but Putin opposed implementing harsher sanctions, stating that "no objective data" proves Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon. Furthermore, some EU countries and companies object to Sarkozy's campaign to establish extra-UN sanctions against Iran.

Both the international community in general and the EU in particular appear unable to unify around economic sanctions to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. Sanctioning Iran represents a cost for EU states with economic ties to Iran, while severance of European economic ties to Iran would provide an opportunity for Asian powers, such as Russia and China, to take the place of countries which withdrew their investment in Iran.

Scenario of agreement between Iran and the international community - The lack of unity concerning further economic sanctions against Iran indicates the increasing likelihood of a scenario in which the international community agrees to a political deal with Iran on the nuclear issue.

There are options which may be preferable for Israel in this type of scenario. For example, a 'good deal' is one that will stop the Iranian nuclear threat and contain the Resistance Network against Israel. A 'bad deal' will be one that does not block the potential for ongoing Iranian nuclear development and does not limit the activity of the Resistance Network.

Hence, in the scenario in which the US tacitly accepts a deal between the international community and Iran, Israel must not be perceived as a burden in order to ensure that it will be able to influence this scenario and preserve Israel's key national security interests. (See the Reut teleconference: International Deal on Iran's Nuclear Program).