“Russia’s ‘double game’ on the Iranian nuclear issue”

“Russia’s ‘double game’ on the Iranian nuclear issue”
September 4-10, 2009
     Barak Ravid reports that China and Russia rejected proposals for additional sanctions against Iran during last week’s meeting of the P5+1 states [previously covered here]. The remaining states agreed that EU sanctions would likely be necessary given the unlikelihood of UNSC sanctions (Haaretz). Later, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that negotiations and diplomacy were the only solutions (Xinhua) and, in a critique of other P5+1 members, described accusations that the IAEA is withholding evidence against Iran [previously covered here] as “unacceptable” (RIA Novosti).
     William Tobey believes that Russia, while concerned about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, hopes international tensions will continue to boost arms sales to Iran and raise the price of oil, another source of export revenue. Tobey adds that the Iranian nuclear issue also enables Russia to maintain some of its waning influence in the Middle East and extract concessions from the US on issues such as missile defense and arms control. Tobey argues that contrary to Russia’s calculations, the Iranian nuclear issue will strengthen NATO and make missile defense deployments more likely as states turn to the US for leadership and protection (Foreign Policy).
     Lavrov denied a recent report that Israel and Russia worked to stop a cargo ship carrying Russian S-300 air defense missiles bound for Iran (Agence France-Presse). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently visited Russia to continue efforts to stop the sale of S-300 missiles to Iran [previously covered here] (Haaretz (2)).
Haaretz | Xinhua | RIA Novosti | Foreign Policy | Agence France-Presse | Haaretz (2)

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