Saturday, September 26, 2009

Getting his ducks in a row

In a meeting that didn't get much attention at the time, Barack Obama met with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi 2 weeks ago. We now know that Obama has known for nearly a year that Iran had a secret nuclear facility and in what looks like a clever bit of multilateral diplomacy, he used his UN Security Council session to get Russia and China to renew the principle of nuclear non-proliferation before springing the news yesterday.

Anyway, that puts the Abu Dhabi meeting in a new light. Since the knee jerk response to the Iranian duplicity is to demand stringent sanctions, the people making such demands are either unaware of or are choosing to ignore the severe implications that sanctions on Iran would have for the United Arab Emirates. As it is, much of Iran's gray economy (and worse) is run through the UAE and a shutdown of international trade with Iran would put the UAE in a very difficult spot. It's not unreasonable to wonder whether Obama decided to "consult", if you will, with the country whose cooperation he'd need for sanctions before doing anything too hasty. For the people yelling "Faster, Please", that's not enough.

White House photo by Pete Souza

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