The world’s attention momentairly shifted from the Western world’s attempts to punish Iran for pursuing an “unclear” nuclear program to the escalating tensions in the Korean peninsula on the other side of the globe. While the U.S and its allies in Asia continue to deal with North Korea, Russia and Iran snapped at each other causing perhaps an unprecedented strain on their old relationship.
After much pressure from other countries and fierce arguements of choosing either negotiation or sanctions, Russia conceded to supporting U.S-led U.N sanctions on Iran alongside China, an equally outspoken supporter of negotiations over sanctions.
Iran surprisingly had struck up a uranium-enrichment deal with Turkey and Brazil but their new proposal was unsatisfactory to the Western powers that believes the Islamic government is trying to develop nuclear weapons.
President Ahmadinejad among a slightly divided power-circle on the matter of the nuclear program in the Iranian government emphasized that their new proposal is the “last chance” for a successful negotiation.
Iran’s President Ahmadinejad staunchly “warned” Russia to take “corrective action” rather than “supporting those who have shown animosity to us for 30 years”, a subtle reference to the 1979 Islamic Revolution that subsequently turned the U.S relationship with Iran very sour.
In an attempt to dissuade Russia from supporting the fourth round of international sanctions designed to crush Iran’s financial facilities, Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi was sent to Moscow as an ambassador. The ambassador pointed out that Russia is exposed to “U.S manupilation of Russian directives”.
The Russian government responded by saying that the support of the sanctions are for Russia’s best interests only.
As if the support of sanctions weren’t a good-enough slap in Iran’s face, Russia also suspended a military arms deal with Iran. The deal has Russia selling the long-ranged S-300 missiles to the Islamic government for Iran’s missile system.
As these missiles are primarily used for the defense of large industrial complexes against air strikes, analysts speculate that Iran wants these missiles so it can defend its nuclear facilities against potential U.S-Israel air strikes.
This speculation seems to be correct as Iran is still pushing for the unsuspension of the weapons deal despite Russia’s support of the United Nations sanctions.
- Cover Picture: ISNA/Photo: Mehdi Ghasemi