Monday, September 26, 2005

Iran takes the offensive, Europe retreats

Russian Foreign Ministry described the document as "components for discussion." Meanwhile, head of the Russian Agency of Nuclear Power, Alexander Rumyantsev, said that the construction of the nuclear power plant in Busher was drawing to completion and the first power unit would be commissioned in 2006. Speaking at a military parade the same day, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned that Iran would strike back ferociously should anybody try to encroach on the "Iranian nation's generosity and nobleness," as the president put it. At the same time Iran is happy about the IAEA decision not to refer the "Iranian dossier" to the Security Council. The Iranian administration is again inviting IAEA Director General Mohammed Al Baradei to drop by Tehran for talks.

European countries have dropped their original demand to refer the IAEA "Iranian dossier" to the UN Security Council. Europe left the USA standing alone. Europe's decision could have been called a victory for Russia if not for Moscow's continuing effort to fight the IAEA attempts to condemn Iran at least within the agency. Russian Ambassador Grigori Berdnikov called IAEA's draft resolution condemning Iran "an airplane that can not fly."

Iran takes a tough stance on its nuclear program largely because of the recent visit made by President Ahmadinejad to the UN anniversary summit. The Iranian leader met with his Russian counterpart during the summit in New York. The Russian media called the meeting a "sensational event" though there was nothing sensational about it. Hordes of journalists filled a press conference room but to no avail. No important statements were made. The Iranian president seemed to be getting ready for a new meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan. After meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister, the Iranian president held another press conference and promised to share nuclear technology with the whole Islamic world. Nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, no doubts about it. We had better get used to the Iranian government's statements regarding the Iranian nuclear technology which is for peaceful purposes only. The Iranian leadership fully believes in the peaceful nuclear pursuits under the national nuclear program. The situation resembles the way the Soviet Union called its military preparations "strictly peaceful defensive measures aimed at preventing the imperialist aggression." And all the Soviets never doubted the explanation even without having the slightest idea about the war plans reportedly drawn by mischievous imperialists and bloodthirsty Zionists.

The Iranian leadership has no idea too.

In any case, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad apparently took advantage of his meeting with Vladimir Putin, no matter what President Putin said to President Ahmadinejad when they talked. The Iranian leader obviously became more confident that Iran could get away with a nuclear incident and Moscow would back Tehran in times of trouble. All the above hangs heavily on Russia's commitment to coordinate actions pertaining to the Iranian nuclear program with the U.S. and European Union, the commitment was confirmed yet another time by President Putin in Washington. "Our positions on the issues are quite close. In any case, we share the opinion on one main issue. All of us strongly object to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and Iran's possible involvement in it," Mr. Putin was quoted as saying by Fox News. The Russian president also said that he would not make any forecasts. He said that the subjunctive mood could not be applicable to the politics. "In any case, we are working with the Iranian side these days. Hopefully, this work will be continued," said the Russian president.

Here is the bottom line of the Russian position. Russia is ready to respond to a situation that will come to light if Iran has nuclear weapons. Russia will have to tackle the problem together with the USA, Europe, the UN Security Council and IAEA.

On the other hand, Russia is not keen at all to consider possible consequences of developing its nuclear project in Busher, the project that might produce nuclear weapons for the Iranian regime. It is all in the subjunctive mood so why should you worry.


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