President Obama’s already diminishing chances to “steam roll” the Iran-Turkey-Brazil Joint Declaration by ramming new sanctions against the Islamic Republic through the United Nations Security Council during the next few weeks got even smaller this morning, when Israeli naval commandos stormed Turkish-flagged ships in international waters off Gaza, killing at least 16 people in the process. Turkey—currently a non-permanent member of the Security Council—promptly asked that the Council convene in emergency session; this session convened in New York at 1 pm today.

Prime Minister Erdoğan’s government will surely demand a response from the Council which the Obama Administration will just as surely be unwilling to support. Even before this incident, during a visit to Brasilia this past weekend, Erdoğan publicly criticized the United States and its European partners for refusing to take a “fair, sincere, and honest approach” to the Iranian nuclear issue. If the United States declines to condemn Israel for attacking Turkish vessels on the high seas and killing civilians in the process, but still insists that the Security Council sanction Iran over enriching uranium, one can only imagine the reaction of Erdoğan’s government—and, for that matter, many other governments around the world—to such an egregious display of hypocrisy and double standards.

The Israeli attack on the Turkish ships comes at a particularly inopportune moment, … >>>

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