While it appears that there is still no consensus on an Iranian resolution, the US wants the UN Security Council to vote on one this week. State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said the US wants the vote before the weekend.

It’s not clear yet what the resolution would be and what kind of sanctions could be imposed. Obviously, the question right now is of accommodating Russia who has vested economic interests in Iran. However, the resolution vote would be coming at a time when the US is trying to send pressure signals to Iran, even considering a bigger military presence in the region.

It also comes at a time of ongoing negotiations in Beijing: six-party talks are under way, attempting to settle the nuclear issue in North Korea. Like in the case of Iran, accommodating Russia will be an issue, with the addition of China. With permanent seats on the UN Security Council, the two states may be courted to make certain votes in exchange for support in other areas. If a successful resolution is passed in the Security Council this week, it will become clear what trade-offs China, Russia and the US have gone for, if any.

China is probably North Korea’s closest ally, but has been forced to partake in the financial sanctions against the regime. Notably, the North Koreans have made it clear at the ongoing talks that the lifting of financial sanctions will be necessary for talks to progress. While China is participating in these sanctions, it is also losing out economically by doing so. Because North Korea is as isolated as it is — with China and Russia its closest partners — it gives the Chinese a near-monopoly on North Korea’s financial markets.

Russia is involved in Iran’s civilian nuclear project and wants any resolutions to not jeopardize those projects, as it looks to gain more lucrative contracts with the country. It is also looking for a bigger role in Asia as a counter-balance to the challenges it’s receiving in Europe.

Both China and Russia have no interest in North Korea’s nuclear program developing, as that lowers their influence — the two being nuclear powers.

Dmitri Marine blogs on Blogue North

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