The five permanent (i.e., veto-holding) members of the UN Security Council agreed tonight in London to transfer the Iran issue from the IAEA to the Security Council. This agreement, which includes both Russia and China, will not immediately trigger a sanctions debate. Apparently, the introduction of resolutions and debate on them will be withheld until the March IAEA report.
This is a major step on Iran. The Perm-5 agreement, which does not guarantee votes by Britain, France, Russia or China for sanctions, nevertheless is a major blow to Iran. It puts more diplomatic pressure on the mullahs, and reduces to finite terms the otherwise infinite flow of Euro-diplomacy. The UN won't do anything decisive or effective, but at least the clock is running on Iran. What Iran may do in response to this vote will tell much about how the next round will go. It is entirely possible that Iran will strike -- economically or through its terrorist proxies -- in answer to this vote. The more reckless Iran gets, the shorter their time will, ultimately, be.