IRAN : RUSSIA FITS A IRANIAN-AMERICAN DIALOGUE
© IRAN-RESIST.ORG – March 22 2009 | During a debate with Javier Solana in Brussels, the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov declared that there was no proof of any Iranian will to manufacture a nuclear weapon. Thus he clearly rose against the American positions that justify the maintenance the sanctions against Iran. The lift of the sanctions is the sine qua non own term imposed by Teheran to dialogue with Washington. Russia seems to have chosen its tactic to have an influence on this dialogue that appears unavoidable and of which it is excluded.
Russia needs Iran to block the access to Central Asia and the mullahs need Russia to block the Americans -at the Security Council. However their alliance is not a miracle : to make the most of this Russian protection, Iran had to renounce to the access corridor towards Central Asia and consequently to the billions of dollars that make the fortune of Russia and Gazprom.
However although they are linked out of self-interest, their status differs : Russia doesn’t have any choice whereas Iran has some. The Russians must keep Iran on their side or perish whereas Teheran can change its side and it is more and more wooed by Washington to decide on this. Such choice would give Central Asia -a gas supplier for China and Russia- on a tray to the Americans.
Moreover, hurried to make come true an exploit that would have multiple economic and strategic impacts, every day since his election, Obama did some offers of dialogue with no preconditions to the mullahs. Teheran refuses because Obama renounced to the prior conditions that were imposed by his predecessor George Bush but absolutely not to the sanctions adopted by this one. If Teheran would accept Obama’s dialogue offer, it would have to make compromises that would imply to renounce the Hamas and the Hezbollah, its means to regional pressures whereas the United States would keep their own means of pressure, i.e. sanctions that heavily penalize Teheran. We might say as well that accepting such dialogue would be a capitulation. Besides this is why Washington goes on and Teheran refuses.
Recently, in order to counter such flight strategy, Washington invited the mullahs to participate in a conference on the stability of Afghanistan. The mullahs refused which forced Washington to harass them endlessly during a conference that was organized in Moscow regarding the same Afghan theme. Even if the mullahs shirked this meeting, there’s no doubt they won’t renew this feat for long. They will have soon to open the dialogue with the Americans. This explains the recent intervention of the Russian diplomacy : since it cannot prevent this meeting, it searches to give the mullahs the means to resist to capitulation in front of the United States. To do so, it expressed against the maintenance of the American sanctions and also against their will to deprive Teheran from its regional role. The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, asserted on Saturday that there was no proof that Iran is being manufacturing nuclear weapons because its program is under the surveillance of the AEIA’s cameras -the nuclear police officer of the UNO. He called for reinforcement of such surveillance that would detect any suspect manipulation of the centrifuge to increase their enrichment capacity. Thus Moscow, such as El Baradai, pleads for to a right for low rate enrichment that runs counter to the sanctions that were adopted by the Security Council against the present Iranian program which is actually low rate enrichment intended for civil use.
The Russian approach is very interesting because the Americans always legitimated their set of sanctions referring to the resolutions of the Security Council. Unable to impose a lift of the American sanctions, Moscow is trying to deprive those sanctions from their legitimacy.
He also called the international community to negotiate with the mullahs “regarding all the problems of the Near East” but also regarding Iraq or Afghanistan. According to the head of the Russian diplomacy, “this is necessary to dialogue considering that Iran represents a constructive part of the solution and not a part of the problem.” This is an unambiguous support to the regional role of the mullahs. Russia means to reinforce the mullahs at any level because it prefers an ally that is not so cooperative instead of a strategic neighbor that would be fully submitted to its American enemy.
Russia is not the only one among the Six -Security Council + Germany- who made that choice. Another member of this group opted for the same choice. This is Great Britain whose supremacy on the oil market will be threatened by the American seizure on Central Asia.
Last week, in a much tormented speech, Gordon Brown expressed his support to the nuclear program of Iran which would have the right to enrich at a low level and “under the UNO supervision” -that means through an agreement of the Security Council and via the AEIA. One week before, he opened a dialogue with the Hezbollah while he indirectly recognized the regional role of the mullahs. Such dialogue upset the Americans to such a point that they publicly protested against their ally but nevertheless oil competitor.
This anti-American positioning could interest China but also other allies who are nevertheless the competitors of the United States among the Six. That’s why Lavrov chose to meet his European counterpart Javier Solana to expose his propositions for a compromise with Iran. Nothing is settled yet.