Russia and China angrily denied comments by John Duncan, UK Ambassador to the UN and British foreign Secretary David Milliband, who said foreign ministers of the US, Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany had agreed on a new package of incentives to curtail the Iranian nuclear program. Duncan claimed the Iranian nuclear program had created serious problems and “the 5+1 message to Iran is that it should live up to its commitments. Iran should either respond positively to the proposed incentives or it will face more punishment by the Security Council.” Both China and Russian insist they never agreed to such wording.
Russian Ambassador to the UN, Anatoly Antonov, said: “The 5+1 in London agreed to use political and diplomatic solution to resolve Iran’s nuclear issue,” but no threats were made nor was Iran blamed for its behavior. He accused the British of trying to “distort the realities” of what was being said to Iran. Chinese Ambassador Wang Chen said: “The participants at London meeting welcomed diplomatic solutions, therefore the British representative’s remarks are not consistent with the realities of the London meeting.”
It appears the issue revolves around making proposals or making proposals with accompanying threats. The Chinese and Russian approach makes sense at this time. A focus on peaceful resolutions of outstanding problems is not aided by threatening Iran if they refuse the offer. Threats are a last resort, not part of an opening to peace.