WASHINGTON – The Iranian struggle against sanctions steps up a notch: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is planning to arrive in New York Monday in order to participate in the convention of 189 countries signed on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Iran is a signatory to the treaty.
The Foreign Policy website reported that Iran filed a formal request with the US State Department for an entry visa for Ahmadinejad. However, Iranian authorities have yet to confirm whether the Iranian president indeed will travel to New York.
Until now, the Iranian leader has traveled to New York four times in order to speak before the UN General Assembly. If it goes through, this will be his first appearance before the UN outside the framework of the General Assembly, a dramatic move in a bid to stave off UN-imposed sanctions that are in the making, or possibly to divert attention onto Israel, which is not a signatory to the NPT.
Israel is one of the only countries in the world that is not signed on the treaty. At the upcoming conference, Arab states, led by Egypt, are expected to raise the issue of signing Israel on the treaty. The other countries that are not NPT signatories are India, Pakistan, and North Korea.
US sanctions underway
Iran is operating via diplomatic channels in order to convince China and Russia, both of whom have veto power in the UN Security Council, as well as other Security Council members like Brazil, Turkey, Lebanon, and Uganda not to impose harsher sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
In order for sanctions to be stepped up, a majority of nine out of 15 Security Council members is needed.
The US is confident that it is within its power to pass a resolution against Iran by June at the latest. Assessments are that the resolution will be relatively weak, but will provide a framework for the US, the European Union, and other countries, to impose harsher sanctions of their own.