Topic: Iran's nuclear program
MOSCOW, January 18 (Marc Bennetts for RIA Novosti)
- Uncertain World: The war of nerves around Iran
- U.S. condemns Iran’s decision to start uranium enrichment
- Tehran hails Moscow’s diplomatic efforts over Iranian nuclear program
- United States dismisses Iran’s belligerent statements
- Iran vows to counter ‘US covert war’
- Sam's Exchange: The Irony of Iranian Sanctions
An attack on Iran by Western powers could cause an unpredictable “chain reaction” throughout the region, Russia’s foreign minister warned on Wednesday.
“It is impossible to list all the consequences [of an attack],” Sergei Lavrov said in an annual address. “But I have no doubt that it would pour oil on the still smoldering fire of Sunni-Shia confrontation, which would lead to a chain reaction.”
"As for how likely such a catastrophe is, you need to ask those who constantly mention this as an option," he added. Lavrov also said that Russia would “do everything” in its power to prevent an attack on Iran.
Although Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday that Israel was "very far off" from taking the decision to strike Iran, Washington and Tel Aviv have refused to rule out military force against Tehran over suspicions that its nuclear program is aimed at the production of atomic weapons.
Iran, which recently began enriching uranium at an underground bunker, denies it is seeking nuclear arms and says its program is to provide peaceful civilian energy.
Lavrov also said that sanctions on Iranian oil exports being discussed by the European Union would “hurt” ordinary people and were more about stirring up unrest than nuclear non-proliferation.
"This has nothing to do with a desire to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation," he said. "It's aimed at stifling the Iranian economy and the population in the apparent hope of provoking discontent."
Sanctions would also prove “an obstacle” to the revival of a dialog between Iran and the six world powers involved in negotiations on its nuclear program, Lavrov said.
Oil exports make up some 80 percent of Iran’s foreign revenues and Tehran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, the export route for one third of global seaborne traded oil, in response to sanctions.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said such a move would provoke a response.
But analysts are doubtful Russia has the military and economic clout to play a decisive role on Iran
“Russia has practically no real influence left in the Middle East,” analyst Sergei Demidenko of the Moscow-based The Institute of Strategic Studies and Analysis told RIA Novosti.
“Iran can not rely on Russia to defend it. The U.S. and Israel are certainly not afraid of this. Russia will definitely not go to war over Iran.”
Another analyst suggested Russia’s reluctance to antagonize Iran was partly linked to fears that Tehran could finance and support the ongoing Islamist insurgency in its volatile North Caucasus region.
“No one needs an Iranian nuclear bomb…but we do not need Iran to attack Russia’s interests in the North Caucasus either,” Yevgeny Satanovsky of the Institute of Middle Eastern studies told RIA.
“It would be very easy for Iran to organize something like Hezbollah in south Lebanon on Russian territory, if Moscow supported an attack,” he said.
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- jg(no title)16:09, 18/01/2012It seems more likely that Iran will end up in a conflict with the USA when the Iranian navy blocks the Strait of Hormuz and attacks a US-flagged oil tanker.
Iran could make all these issues go away by simply complying with the UN inspections that they signed up to as part of the NNPT. They would then see an end to UN, US and EU sanctions and could continue with the development of their peaceful nuclear power programme. However, if Iran is developing nuclear weapons, the sanctions will continue while they are signatories to the NNPT. It also seems likely that other countries in the middle east will then seek to acquire their own nuclear weapons - Saudi Arabia for sure and possibly, Turkey.
- firstname.lastname@example.orgI agree 100% with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's comments.17:49, 18/01/2012Wednesday January 18, 2012
I agree 100% with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's comments.
The United States and NATO are intentionally trying to provoke Iran into a war that will lead to dire consequences in the Middle East.
The oil sanctions on Iran should be immediately dropped by the United States as these sanctions are designed to hurt the Iranian people causing unrest in Iran.
The United States does not import oil from Iran and so it has nothing to loose by imposing the sanctions. However China, India, Europe, South Korea and Japan due import oil from Iran and this will hurt their economies that will in turn hurt the US economy.
In the end the Iranian oil sanctions are simply bad for the entire world.
If the United States is using the economic oil sanctions to try to begin a war with Iran, it is my sincere hope that Russia, China and India will come to the aid and defence of Iran.
Because this means that the United States is after the oil and gas reserves of Iran, the fourth largest in the world.
Russia will NOT stand by to see the United States take a position on the Caspian Basin / Caspian Sea the last largest reserve of oil and natural gas in the world.
China and India will NOT stand by to see their oil supplies lost to the United States.
Europe, Japan and South Korea have NOTHING to gain by supporting the oil sanctions against Iran because in the end they will loose their Iranian oil supply to the United States if a war between Iran and the United States takes place.
Because the United States runs out of its domestic oil supply in 2019.
The United States produces 9 million barrels of oil a day.
The United States imports 9.7 million barrels of oil a day.
The United States consumes 18.7 million barrels of oil a day.
By 2020 the United States will need to find another 9 to 11.3 million barrels of oil a day to keep their economy running. Otherwise it will collapse from an energy shortage.
The Iranian oil sanctions are not about getting Iran to stop its nuclear ambitions, it is about a process to weaken Iran so that the United States can attack, invade and occupy Iran to seize its oil reserves.
The same tactics that have been used in Iraq, Afghanistan and recently Libya.
I am 100% against the Iranian oil sanctions imposed by the United States and supported by Canada.
Europe, Japan and South Korea can make up their own minds whether to purchase Iranian oil or not, it is after all a free world. However if Europe, Japan and South Korea are not buying the Iranian oil due to the US oil sanctions then this I firmly believe is wrong.
I am happy to see that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russia have had the courage to speak out about the United States oil sanctions against Iran.
I agree 100% with the position of Russia and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
The Iranian oil sanctions should be discontinued as they only hurt the Iranian people.
A similar article was released on Yahoo this morning as well explaining Russia's position and concern.
- bielecReal Reasons18:30, 18/01/2012Non-compliance with the UN inspections was also played as a direct pretext for war on Iraq. It then turned out that Iraq did not have any WMD. And yet, Americans stayed in Iraq and Saddam Hussain was hunged. Conclusion: - the real reason was something else.
The situation also does not have anything to do with the NNPT. Israel has 200 - 300 nuclear bombs and a nuclear weapons program outside of the IAEA supervision and the USA does not apply sanctions here. So, again, the real reason is something else.
Wheather Russia and China are ready to defend Iran is up to them. The consequences will be theirs - NATO on their borders and the Middle East energy resources out of their reach. If Russia and China sleep in this time, they will be next.
Google: "The Proposed Iranian Oil Bourse" by Krassimir Petrov, Ph.D. - a must read.
- jg(no title)18:52, 18/01/2012"The situation also does not have anything to do with the NNPT. Israel has 200 - 300 nuclear bombs and a nuclear weapons program outside of the IAEA supervision and the USA does not apply sanctions here."
Israel, India and Pakistan have never been signatories to the NNPT and are not bound to a treaty of which they are not members - hence, none of them are the subject of any sanctions (relating to the NNPT). North Korea was a signatory to the NNPT but withdrew when they were caught breaking it.
Iran has been and still is, a signatory to the NNPT - otherwise Russia (as another NNPT signatory) would not be allowed to transfer any nuclear technologies to Iran.
Russia, either through naivety or cynicism, has helped Iran develop nuclear weapons, from which we will see a new nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
Russia and China are not going to war with the USA over Iran, much as the USA is not going to war with China over North Korea.
- ArmenianMother Russia is the savior of the world20:40, 18/01/2012Mother Russia is the world's last hope against American imperialism, NATO expansionism, Globalism, Islamic fanaticism, Zionism and pan-Turkism.
Iran has been a central Russian ally in the Middle East, despite considerable tensions between the two. But by renewing dialogue with the West, the new Iranian leadership has chosen another direction. The shifting terrain in the region creates new strategic, political and economic challenges for Russia.