Iran's poker face (Rep. Ed Royce)


The Obama Administration trumpeted the fact that both China and Russia were onboard for the inconsequential rebuke.  China's support followed a report in the Washington Post that two top White House officials traveled to Beijing and warned that if it didn't work with others to pursue a diplomatic end to Iran's nuclear program, then the Israelis might take it into their own hands, seriously roiling energy markets.  The IAEA resolution now gets forwarded to the United Nations.  Whether China and Russia get on board for some real sanctions is another matter.   

According to this morning's Wall Street Journal, several Obama Administration officials “voiced little alarm over the accelerating game of brinkmanship," suggesting it was all Iranian posturing ("Defiant Iran Beefs Up Nuclear Plans.")  "The Iranians play poker," noted an Administration official.

Poker indeed.  Most likely, this is a play by Iran to heighten the sense of crisis surrounding its nuclear program.  Tehran hopes it can create a crisis, and then make "concessions," gaining currency with Moscow and Beijing.  Meanwhile, we return to the status quo ante, with Iran pursuing a nuclear weapons program right under the world's nose.  A high-stakes game, alright.    


Cross-posted from Rep. Royce's Foreign Intrigue Blog.