Russia – So, So Soviet. Accept UN Iranian Sanctions; NOT US and EU’s Additions

Posted on July 9, 2010

Why there aren’t more word torturing poets in Russia is beyond comprehension.  They have not got over splitting hairs and meanings and working over words to cover motives since the old days of the Soviet Union.  Case in point: sanctions on Iran.  They will sanctimoniously cling to the UN sanctions but will not join in the US and EU’s additional sanctions.  How global, how so, so soviet of them, comrades.  They stand with the masses.

And now in the midst of the most delicate diplomatic times in the history of the Middle East, Russia has claimed that the nuclear reactor it has helped Iran build will be up and running in September.  While Iran’s nuclear program has admittedly been slowed by the sanctions, and would have been in more widely accepted US and European additions outside the UN, the completion of the reactor has been unaffected.  It is thought the the reactor has dual functionality – domestic and military – power and plutonium.

Will Israel wait for this unit to come on line?  Will the Saudis?  The Saudis have recently joined the chorus of those who outwardly have spoken against living with a nuclear Iran.

The bottom line about the Russians – still Soviet in all ways but name – is that they will not overtly support initiatives of most kinds if they are solely those of Europe or the United States.  They have in effect isolated us in the eyes of the world and have done so in ways familiar to Muslim nations. They have done the same.  We are apart; we are imperial demons.

But Russia, unlike Obama,  has not formally proselytized about the value of acquiring alliances with the Muslim world.  It simply has gone ahead and worked on them and they are significant.  President Obama may have dreams of shared space education and goals with Muslim nations but those are just dreams.  The Soviet way is to get down and give potential allies what they need now.

Then there is that bit about the Russians working the crowds in South America.  A visit this year by the powerful Putin and then by Medvedev right after Salt had been concluded threw into relief the fact that even in this hemisphere, Russia’s influence is growing from its Cuban base with renewed vigor.

Why wouldn’t Russia like the new Salt?  In it Obama gives tacit approval to the US not pursuing the nuclear weapons shield.  Obama thought that would not only win him agreement on Salt but on tough sanctions on Iran.  It did not. And the value of the new Salt agreement?  Limited.  Both sides got rid of only weapons they had wanted to toss previous to the agreement.  In order to win the Russians over, we would have to make trade agreements that would make up for what Russia would lose in its lucrative trade with Iran.

We don’t need to ditch our so-called close working relationship with Russia; that would be counterproductive. But we should never relax our guard and we should definitely not roll over. Like the Arabs, the Russians only understand and respect force.  Obama needs to stop smiling at Medvedev and reach substantial agreements that benefit the US.  So far, it’s advantage Moscow.