Saturday, January 21, 2006

News out of Russia

MOSCOW, January 21 (RIA Novosti) - It is too early to refer the Iranian nuclear file to the UN Security Council, former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov said Saturday. "I do not support sanctions against Iran because they may boost extremism," Primakov, who is currently the president of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told the radio station Ekho Moskvy. Too Early to refer Iran to the UN
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KIEV, January 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has asked Ukraine to partner with it in constructing nuclear power plants in third countries, the Ukrainian prime minister said Saturday. Russia wants to build NPPs with Ukraine
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Russia said earlier Friday that it would hold "detailed" talks with Iran over its proposal to supply the country with enriched uranium for use in its planned nuclear power plants. Russia discuss Iran’s nuclear program
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A long article but (excerpts below) definitely worth reading on what they are reporting in Russia. We have many problems ahead with this country and Iran.

Last week: Moscow News reports the following:

Tehran rejected Russia’s proposal to enrich Iranian uranium on our soil, (IN RUSSIA) saying they wanted to do it on their own. (IN IRAN)

It is not profitable for Russia to impose sanctions on Iran, since we just recently signed an agreement to sell them nearly $1 billion worth of medium-range anti-aircraft weapons. These modern weapons are capable of hitting targets up to 25 kilometers away and will probably be used to defend various testing sites in Iran. Therefore, if some attempt is made to strike at the country and the deliveries from Russia are made quickly enough, we can expect a strong response. In other words, Iran will be able to defend itself. However, if ballistic missiles are used, then nuclear sites can be targeted effectively. We must not forget that Russia has its experts working on some of these sites, and is not interested in a military scenario, if only to protect them.

China has similar interests, because it buys oil from Iran. The Americans are a viable threat, since they have virtually surrounded Iran. First of all, they have planes stationed at air bases in U.S.-occupied Afghanistan, so that is one place they can strike from. At the same time, there is Iraq.

Yesterday, members of Russia’s Security Council...reported that although
Russia’s proposal concerning Iran’s possible enriching of uranium on Russian soil was rejected, the next stage of talks will take place in Moscow in February and this topic will come up again. Do you think we can anticipate a change in the stance of either side, Iran or Russia? You mean whether Iran will agree to enrich its uranium in Russia?
Yes.
I wouldn’t exclude this possibility. Why? Because Russia has ways in which it can pressure Iran.
First, there is the weapons supply. There haven’t been any supplies to Iran in a long time and the army is demanding new equipment. This is one argument. The other is that Iran and Russia have common interests around the Caspian Sea and if Iran wants to pursue close relations with Russia, this will be an area where influence can be gained by either side. Perhaps, Russia will offer more advanced weapons to Iran, including systems like the S-300, which we supplied to Syria. Iran, of course, is a different kind of country. It is rich, and if Russia wants to, it has ways of persuading Tehran. Full Story

Remember too, this is Russia reporting. I have said all along that at the end of the day, Russia will be our biggest threat to America. Now Iran wants to come back to the bargaining table with Russia.
Pictured above: Bushehr nuclear reactor site in Iran / Photo: AFP

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