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As Iran Sanctions Season Start in NY, German Speaks of Text, China of Diplomacy

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 8 -- U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, emerging from a meeting Wednesday afternoon on Iran nuclear sanctions, smiled and said the process would continue "here and in capitals" for the "next days and weeks."

  The Deputy Representative of Germany, which joins the UN Security Council's Permanent Five members in negotiating the Iran resolutions then presented to the Council's non-Permanent or Transient Ten, said that there is a text. This sent reporters into a frenzy: who would get it first?

The day previous, a Permanent Five ambassador told Inner City Press that "of course," if Iran showed flexibility on the Tehran Research Reactor and proposal to out-ship uranium for enrichment in Russia and then France, the sanctions process would stop in its tracks.

  That is a "confident building measure," according to the ambassador, the volume no longer providing the assurance it would have. Iran now has more uranium: 800 kilos more, the ambassador said.

  Who would be sanctioned, by a resolution that could pass? Elements of the Revolutionary Guard, it seems clear. The energy sector, probably not. Insurance firms? It depends.

  Some have speculated that the P5 (or at least P3) and Germany will try to get a resolution passed in April, to avoid running into May when Lebanon with its mixed government will take over Presidency of the Security Council. Others have wondered about the impact, if any, of the upcoming UK elections. There is a lot in play.

US Hillary Clinton speaks to Press on Iran, Sept 2009, outside new UNSC

  The UN press corps set up shop outside the skyscraper housing the French and UK Missions. On his way in, China's Ambassador Li Baodong said he would speak when it was over. By then it was a mob scene, the press corps hungry for any scrap of news.

  One TV reporter thrust his yellow microphone at Ambassador Rice, drawing a pause and then a smile. The German spoke just before getting into his waiting car. Li Baodong did not disappoint, calling the process two track with a "focus on diplomacy." One wondered: with Iran?

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In Congo Crunch Time, US Rice and Others Cancel Visit, Iran Prioritized, Post-Doss

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 7 -- With new violence starting up and being discovered throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the 15 countries on the UN Security Council arranged to travel to the DRC starting April 13. One goal is to negotiate with Congolese President Joseph Kabila, who has asked for the UN Peacekeeping mission MONUC to begin to pack up and leave.

  While Security Council members, particularly the United States, say that the issues in the Congo -- systematic rape of women as a weapon of war, exploitation of conflict minerals by rebels and rogue Congolese Army units -- are of much concern to them, on April 7 it emerged that only half of the Council member states are sending their Permanent Representative or lead Ambassador on the trip.

  US Permanent Representative Susan Rice, another Council Ambassador complained to Inner City Press on Wednesday, has dropped her initial plan to travel to the Congo, and will stay in New York for the beginnings of negotiations on a resolution to impose more sanctions on Iran.

  "She wants credit for cracking down on Iran," a source said, analogizing her calculus to that of her predecessors Madeleine Albright and Richard Holbrooke when they wanted promotions from US Ambassador to Secretary of State.

Susan Rice, Secretary of State, UN meeting on women, Congo discussed, visit not shown

The UN's top envoy to the Congo Alan Doss, already the subject of a nepotism investigation by the UN for urging the UN Development Program to show him "leeway" and give his daughter a job, is said to definitely be out in June.

   To replace Doss several French names are being circulated, among them former UN Peacekeeping chief Jean Marie Guehenno and even former French Permanent Representative Jean Maurice Ripert, who while titularly employed as envoy on development to Pakistan is said to be in an office in the UN's nearly empty headquarters tower.

  There is also an American, the former U.S. Ambassador to Kinshasa, and current UN envoy to Cote d'Ivoire Choi, both of whom speak French.

  While the UN and its Security Council may show the Congo this idiomatic respect, sending lower level representatives on the upcoming trip at this time of crossroads is a bad sign. Watch this site.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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