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First Russia’s Foreign Minister, now the man-behind-the-throne Putin himself, are indicating that Obama’s capitulation on missile defense hasn’t done a thing to bring Russia closer to a strong stance on Iran… if anything, Obama’s weakness is making Russia feel it’s okay to move away from a strong stance:
BEIJING (Reuters) – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned major powers on Wednesday against intimidating Iran and said talk of sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear programme was “premature”.
Putin, who many diplomats, analysts, and Russian citizens believe is still Russia’s paramount leader despite stepping down as president last year, was speaking after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Moscow for two days of talks.
“There is no need to frighten the Iranians,” Putin told reporters in Beijing after a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
“We need to look for a compromise. If a compromise is not found, and the discussions end in a fiasco, then we will see.”
“And if now, before making any steps (towards holding talks) we start announcing some sanctions, then we won’t be creating favourable conditions for them (talks) to end positively. This is why it is premature to talk about this now.”
Clinton failed to secure any specific assurances from Russia on Iran during her visit, leaving her open to criticism at home that she had not received anything from Moscow after earlier U.S. concessions on missile defence.
Earth to President Obama! International diplomacy isn’t Christmas gift-giving. Giving the Russians what they want doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to give us what we want.
I fear not only for our nation, but for this world.
From no less an impeccable lefty source than the New York Times:
MOSCOW — Denting President Obama’s hopes for a powerful ally in his campaign to press Iran on its nuclear program, Russia’s foreign minister said Tuesday that threatening Tehran now with harsh new sanctions would be “counterproductive.”
The minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, said after meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton here that diplomacy should be given a chance to work, particularly after a meeting in Geneva earlier this month in which the Iranian government said it would allow United Nations inspectors to visit its clandestine nuclear enrichment facility near the holy city of Qum.
“At the current stage, all forces should be thrown at supporting the negotiating process,” he said. “Threats, sanctions and threats of pressure in the current situation, we are convinced, would be counterproductive.”
But, but, but… wasn’t stopping Iran supposed to be a quid pro quo for Obama canceling missile defense plans for eastern Europe? Indeed it was, at least that’s what we were told.
In short, Obama got rolled by Russia. He should have learned from the greatest of modern presidents, Ronald Reagan: “Trust, but verify.”
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