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March 18, 2006
Russia Says 'Nyet' To Quick Action On Iran

Russia announced yesterday that it opposes any fast-tracking of the progress reporting on Iranian nuclear ambitions at the UN Security Council, joking that an expedited progress would only get expedited bombing. The other permanent members want the report in two weeks so that negotiations on the best way to stop the nuclear progression of Teheran can begin in earnest, but Russia and China prefer to wait:

Russia's U.N. ambassador on Friday rejected proposals for the U.N. Security Council to demand a quick progress report on Iran's suspect nuclear program, saying — only half in jest — that fast action could lead to the bombing of Iran by June. ...

A key sticking point for Russia is a proposal asking Mohamed ElBaradei, the chief of the
International Atomic Energy Agency, to deliver a progress report in two weeks on Iran's progress toward clearing up suspicions about its nuclear program. Russia and China say two weeks is far too soon.

"Let's just imagine that we adopt it and today we issued that statement — then what happens after two weeks?" Denisov told The Associated Press. "In such a pace we'll start bombing in June."

Denisov chuckled after he made the remark, but it reflected Russia's fears that the international community has not yet decided how to respond if Iran continues to resist demands that it make explicitly clear it is not seeking nuclear arms.

Russia still wants to play at its Great Game pretensions in the Middle East, even though it has consistently failed to demonstrate any influence on the players in the region. In this case, Vladimir Putin has gone out of his way to protect a regime that materially contributes to the insurgencies raging in the Caucasus rather than take a hard line and back the mullahcracy down. Perhaps Putin thinks that the Islamists that get their funding and orders from Teheran will only attack Israel and the US with its nuclear weapons once they have them in hand. Perhaps he's right, but Putin knows that Islamists haven't exactly been a model of honorable combat in Russia. It would appear that Putin is willing to sacrifice the small enclaves on his southern border just to give Russia a fading patina of its former superpower glory, a pathetic and vain effort indeed.

If Russia and China continue to run interference for Teheran, we need to make clear that we will not stand idly by while Iran arms itself with nuclear weapons. If the UNSC can make itself part of that solution, so much the better for Turtle Bay and the nations involved. If not, then we can demonstrate yet again why the UN is just the League of Nations with a blue flag.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 18, 2006 8:47 AM

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