The Realist Prism: An Iran BRIC-bat for Obama

The Realist Prism: An Iran BRIC-bat for Obama

The summit meetings held last week in Brasilia -- of both the India-Brazil-South Africa forum (IBSA) and the Brazil-Russia-India-China group (BRIC) -- seem to confirm that any Iran sanctions resolution likely to secure passage in the United Nations Security Council will not live up to the Obama administration's expectations.

The leaders of the emerging "world without the West" -- who all traveled to the Brazilian capital after attending the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington -- were able to compare notes from their bilateral meetings with U.S. President Barack Obama as well as from other communications with senior U.S. officials. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had already made it clear to Obama in Washington that India could not support the type of sanctions that the U.S. Congress has endorsed. And while Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signaled that Russia would be open to increasing pressure on Tehran, he joined with both Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao in again calling for diplomacy to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis.

In Brasilia, India's national security adviser, Shiv Shankar Menon, briefed his Brazilian, Russian and Chinese counterparts about his meetings with U.S. National Security Adviser Jim Jones, who had laid out the American case. If what appeared in the press is an accurate summary of what was concluded at that meeting, then the Obama administration cannot be particularly pleased: "All of us agreed that we don't think sanctions will help solve the current problems with Iran."

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