The fourth round of UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program seems so misconceived that it would probably be remembered as a serious error one day. The Russians and Chinese would eventually regret their reluctant backing of Washingtons policy of confrontation. No one had expected Russia and China to cave in to the hypocritical anti-Iran policy of the US. They have signed up to the long-standing US duplicity of decrying Irans suspected ambition of acquiring nuclear weapons while totally ignoring the fact that its opponent Israel is already a bonafide nuclear power. Washingtons determination to ignore Israels nuclear arsenal completely undermines any chances of persuading the Iranians to keep their nuclear program within the parameters of their declared peaceful intent. The Obama administration is unable to recognize how flawed its argument against Iran is and the Russians and Chinese have complicated matters by simply signing up to it. President Mahmud Ahmadinejads riposte to the new sanctions was entirely predictable. It was almost certain before he spoke that he would react with more anger. But the Security Council, with the notable exceptions of Brazil and Turkey, has already succumbed to the American pressure. One would have expected the Russians and Chinese to insist that the price of their support would be a simultaneous tabling of the motion against Israels stockpiling of nuclear weapons. Israelis would interpret the silence of Moscow and Beijing as a green light to launch a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, a not-so-impossible possibility whose consequences are terrible to imagine. A golden opportunity to rid the Middle East of nuclear weapons has been frittered. Apparently, when Washington says it wants a nuclear-free Middle East, it imagines at least one nuclear power in the Middle East; Israel. -GHULAM MUSTAFA PASHA, Islamabad, June 16.