It is being reported that the US has secured the consent of all five permanent members of the Security Council to submit the case of Iran for the body’s review. However, the US did not secure a Security Council “referal”–which would have given the body domain over the issue–but instead managed to get the findings of the emergency meeting of the IAEA “reported” to the body. Not only that, but the matter will not be taken up by the body until March, a stipulation apparently pushed for by China and Russia. Even still, this should be seen as a diplomatic victory for the US, as there seems to be a growing unison of the six major parties (UNSC-5 and Germany) on the seriousness of the issue, the need to involve the Secuirty Council, and on a singular plan (the Russian enrichment plan which both the US and China have now publicly endorsed) which would avoid harsher penalities such as sanctions or air strikes.

I voiced my skepticism that the permanent-5 would come together on this issue in the near term. I must admit that this development comes sooner than I expected, although it remains to be seen what actions China and Russia would endore if the matter is formerly “referred” to the UNSC. I am very curious as to what incentives were offered to Russia and more importantly China, but that has yet to be released. Let’s hope negotiations go well between Russia and Iran in the next 30 days. This unified position by the P-5+Germany should provide substantial bargaining leverage.

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