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Monday, November 07, 2011

Russia backing nuclear Iran

Earlier on Monday, it was reported that it is unlikely that a new round of sanctions will pass the United Nations Security Council because it would be vetoed by Russia and China.
"The reality is that a new substantive step forward on sanctions will be very difficult," a senior Western diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

"The last set of sanctions were very substantive, and essentially the next stage would be to go into the oil and gas sector," he said. "If you get into the oil and gas sector, then obviously there will be opposition from China in particular, but also from Russia. More so China."

China depends heavily on oil exports from Iran, the world's fifth biggest crude exporter, to fuel its growing economy.
But while China may be the stronger opponent of sanctions, it is Russia that has gone a step further and is trying to take the military option off the table.
"This would be a very serious mistake fraught with unpredictable consequences," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said when asked about reports that Israel planned a military strike against Iran.

Lavrov said there could be no military resolution to the Iranian nuclear problem and said the conflicts in Iran's neighbors, Iraq and Afghanistan, had led to human suffering and high numbers of casualties.

A raid on Iran's nuclear facilities would be likely to provoke Tehran into hugely disruptive retaliatory measures in the Gulf that would sever shipping routes and disrupt the flow of oil and gas to export markets, political analysts believe.


"There is no military solution to the Iranian nuclear problem as there is no military solution to any other problem in the modern world," said Lavrov, who has served as foreign minister since 2004.

"This is confirmed to us every day when we see how the problems of the conflicts around Iran are being resolved -- whether Iraq or Afghanistan or what is happening in other countries in the region. Military intervention only leads to many times more deaths and human suffering."
He sounds remarkably like Barack Obama, doesn't he? And that's precisely the problem. Since Obama came to power in the US and 're-set' American relations with Russia, the world has gone back to being bipolar with countries falling under either the American or Russian aegis. That was not the case from the fall of Communism in 1989 until Obama's election in 2008.

That leaves the West with only one way to try to stop Iran: Sanctions imposed by the West without the UN. And that's most unlikely to work.
"The UN is important because it's the international community," a diplomat told Reuters. "But you're not going to stop Iran's nuclear program with lowest common denominator sanctions by the UN Security Council."

"The EU, the US and others will have to wield the sledgehammer with national sanctions and drag the UN Security Council after them," he said.
Given the amount of trade that the EU continues to do with Iran under the current sanctions, does anyone really see that happen? Is it any wonder that Israel is talking about acting unilaterally for the first time since 2007?

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At 3:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama's sanctions were a tool to forestall military action, appease anyone and everyone, and (hopefully) permit the US to slide into containment mode vis a vis Iranian nukes. Israel is on its own. If Iran nukes Tel Aviv, Israel is on its own. If Iran nukes Washington, DC? The administration will put out a very stern statement and work for sanctions...if China and Russia will go along.


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