The IAEA Board of Governors resolution GOV/2012/48 has sent one clear and important message, the international community is still committed-and united in their attempts- to diplomatically address Iran’s nuclear program. In a 31-1-3 vote in support of the resolution, the international community has displayed a unified resolve that had previously been questioned (with countries like China and Russia seen as potentially hindering western initiatives).
While differences still may persist between the major powers, there is no denying the unequivocally unified call for Iran to finally address the concerns surrounding its nuclear program. The resolution strongly stated:
“…[the]serious concern regarding the continued enrichment and heavy water-related activities in Iran, contrary to the relevant resolutions of the BOG and the UN Security Council.”
Moreover this unity was intertwined with the need for peaceful negotiations. Reinforced in multiple passages, the resolution called for a:
“Comprehensive negotiated, long term solution, on the basis of reciprocity and a step-by-step approach, which restores international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program consistent with the NPT,”
“Constructive diplomatic process which restores international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme on the basis of reciprocity and a step-by-step approach and consistent with the NPT” and
“Continued support for a peaceful resolution of the international community’s concerns…”
The resolutions importance is twofold. For one it reinforces the international consensus for a negotiated solution to Iran.
Secondly the inclusion of China and Russia counters the belief that China and Russia will, impede the diplomatic track, making such efforts futile. The fact that China and Russia were brought on board with the “serious concern” regarding Iran mean both countries have now publicly agreed to the need for Iran to address these concerns.
While the resolution does not lay out next steps for where to head next, it has set up an important roadblock to those who would misguidedly support a military intervention in Iran at the present time. While such a strike may one day become a necessity, diplomacy is the appropriate path at hand, and this resolution has greatly help to facilitate that process.