[Marxism] Russia Says Iran Sanctions Are Premature

Yoshie Furuhashi critical.montages at gmail.com
Sat Aug 26 12:50:11 MDT 2006

The best news I have heard in recent months. -- Yoshie

August 25, 2006
Russia Says Iran Sanctions Are Premature

MOSCOW, Aug. 25 — Russia's defense minister said today that it was
premature to consider punitive actions against Iran, including
sanctions, despite its refusal to suspend efforts to enrich uranium as
the United Nations Security Council demanded.

Although Russia agreed to the Security Council's resolution a month
ago, the remarks by the defense minister, Sergei B. Ivanov, made it
clear that Russia would not support the step that the United States
and Britain have called for: imposing sanctions against Iran or its
leaders over its nuclear programs.

Russia has repeatedly expressed opposition to punitive steps, even as
President Vladimir V. Putin and others have called on Iran to
cooperate with international inspectors and suspend uranium

On Friday, however, Mr. Ivanov went further, saying that the issue was
not "so urgent" that the Security Council should consider sanctions
and expressing doubt that they would work in any case.

"I know of no cases in international practice or the whole of previous
experience when sanctions achieved their goals or were efficient," Mr.
Ivanov, a close ally of Mr. Putin's who also serves as deputy prime
minister, said in televised remarks in the Far East.

Russia's opposition left in doubt the Bush administration's diplomatic
efforts to intensify pressure on Iran over nuclear energy programs,
which American officials fear disguise an the building of nuclear

Echoing a statement that was issued by the Foreign Ministry after Iran
responded in writing to the Security Council's demands earlier this
week, Mr. Ivanov said that Russia would continue "to advocate a
political and diplomatic solution to the problem."

Neither he nor other officials, however, have said what Russia would
do if Iran refuses to meet the Security Council's demands to suspend
its nuclear programs by Aug. 31. On Wednesday, a spokesman for the
Foreign Ministry, Mikhail L. Kamynin, said it was important to "grasp
nuances" in Iran's lengthy written response and said Russia would
continue to use its influence with the Iranians.

Russia has significant economic ties with Iran and is building a
nuclear reactor at Bushehr. Underscoring Russia's cooperation in the
field, an Iranian delegation has been visiting Russia this week to
discuss further joint projects, which officials from both countries
have emphasized are civilian ones.

Russia's opposition to sanctions appears to extend beyond purely
commercial interests, however. Officials have indicated that they fear
that sanctions would lead to a new American-led military conflict in
the region, as happened in Iraq.


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