“Russian ambiguity dampens US expectations of support for sanctions”

“Russian ambiguity dampens US expectations of support for sanctions”
October 4-13, 2009
     Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called additional sanctions against Iran “counterproductive” after a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, apparently confirming US suspicions that Russia will resist sanctions despite comments suggesting otherwise made by President Dmitri Medvedev only 3 weeks earlier [previously covered here] (New York Times). Fred Hiatt suggests that in addition to prioritizing its commercial and military ties with Iran, Russia is exploiting the Iranian nuclear issue to maintain its dominance in the European gas market and win various concessions from the US while securing a “privileged position” with a future nuclear Iran (Washington Post).
     Citing Russia’s new $3.5-billion energy deal with China as part of efforts to oppose US global hegemony, Douglas Birch believes Moscow is deliberately maintaining an ambiguous position on Iran to extract political concessions from the US despite having “few major assets” as a global power (Associated Press). However, Kim Ghattas writes that Iran’s agreement to allow IAEA inspectors into the Qom plant and export most of its low-enriched uranium [previously covered here] has also contributed to Russia’s renewed position against sanctions. One unnamed US negotiator argues that Russia’s agreement to the uranium plan signals growing concern in Moscow over the Iranian threat (BBC).
New York Times | Washington Post | Associated Press | BBC

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