The new Iran sanctions resolution cleared the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday by a vote of 12-2, with all five permanent members voting in favor. Does its passage represent a "diplomatic victory" for the Obama administration, as some have claimed? Or have the measures been so "watered down," as others argue, that they are not likely to be effective in changing Iran's course of action? And how significant is Russia's apparent change of heart, ultimately supporting a fourth round of sanctions that it initially opposed?
To answer those questions, the vote at Turtle Bay needs to be put into a larger context.
First, what did the U.S. actually achieve with the sanctions resolution?