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  • Moscow Warns Israel Against Attacking Iran’s Nuclear Sites

    Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov warned Israel about striking Iran

    Russia, which has contributed substantially to Iran’s nuclear ambitions by selling it billions of dollars of nuclear technology and obstructing international efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program by acting as Iran’s “diplomatic godfather, is now cynically criticizing Israel for contemplating military options to defuse the threat that Moscow helped to create.

    Yesterday, the Russian government warned Israel not to launch a military strike at Iran’s nuclear program, which it predicted would have disastrous consequences for the Middle East and the world economy. Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told a news conference, “Of course any possible military scenario against Iran will be catastrophic for the region and for the whole system of international relations.”

    Gatilov also downplayed Iran’s latest failure to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which yesterday withdrew a visiting delegation after Tehran denied them access to an Iranian facility suspected of conducting research on nuclear weapons. Despite Iran’s continued nuclear defiance, Gatilov rosily proclaimed, “I think we still have opportunity to continue diplomatic efforts, to renew the six-nation talks.”

    The Russian government delivered its warning to Israel shortly after the Obama Administration stepped up its public efforts to warn Israel against an attack last weekend. Russian officials may have reasoned that there was little downside to upbraiding Israel after Washington also did so.

    Piling on Israel also benefits Moscow by improving its tarnished image in the Arab Middle East, where it is increasingly criticized for backing the Assad dictatorship against a popular rebellion by the Syrian people. In addition, Moscow benefits economically from stoking concerns about Middle East tensions to push up the price of oil, its principal export, on the nervous world oil market.

    Washington should remind Moscow that it bears substantial responsibility for helping to create Iran’s nuclear program. And both Washington and Moscow should focus on halting Iran’s growing nuclear menace rather than restraining Israel’s right to self defense.

    For more on the Iran nuclear confrontation, see “If Israel Attacks.”

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Moscow Warns Israel Against Attacking Iran’s Nuclear Sites

    1. @kafantaris2 says:

      Iran faces a delicate issue. On the one hand it wants to show the world all it’s got and put it at ease, while on the other hand it fears that such show 'n tell will give its enemies a roadmap to bomb it.
      Saddam Hussein faced a similar dilemma ten years ago. Though he wanted the world to know he had nothing to hide, he also wanted to bluff his archenemy Iran into believing Iraq still had WMD.
      Bluffing did not go well for Saddam, and it might not go well for Ahmadinejad.
      But since the price tag for ridding Saddam proved high, maybe we ought to reflect what we are asking of Iran now. On the eve of a threatened attack, we are asking it to take us to the depths of its arsenal and show us all it's got.
      Such great expectations are a sign we have been talking to our friends too long and are in need of a broader perspective. Exactly when was the last time we asked Pakistan, India, China or Russia to show us their arsenal?
      “But those countries are not advocating the destruction of Israel.”
      True, but Israel is not a thorn on their side either.
      Surely, however, we can see beyond the hyperboles and figure out their underlying purpose. Or have we forgotten that not all Iranians are thrilled with Ahmadinejad?
      He sure hasn’t forgotten.
      Nor has he forgotten that that his countrymen hate Israel even more. So he tells them that Israel will be wiped from the face of the earth. Expectantly, this nonsense unites them against a common enemy. It is even a diversion from the misery and isolation brought on by his theocratic regime.
      Quite clever work by Ahmadinejad — and not a rial spent or a bullet fired.
      So why are we letting the crazy talk about destroying Israel get us all worked-up — to the point of turning the world topsy-turvy again.
      Can we not see the desperate attempts of an unpopular regime simply trying to hold on?

      • JeffPrice says:

        Because I'm a dinner jacket is actively engaged in developing nuclear weapons. He isn't just talking. He is acting. He will have a bomb and neither he or his surrogates have the self control to refrain from using it.

        Sanctions never stopped Saddam, didn't stop North Korea, haven't been effective against Iran, in fact have never worked ever, anywhere. I think they are popular with western nations because they give the appearance of doing something without any actual effort.

        Get a grip
        -jeff

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