Tuesday, January 17, 2006

US , Russia, China, EU not together on Iran sanctions.

In spite of the happy talk, there is considerable distance between the positions of Russia, China, The EU and the US on referring Iran to the UN Security Council for sanctions, let alone on any military action.

Russia and China are still strongly opposed to sanctions and favor more diplomacy.
Iran News - Russia-China still leery of UN action against Iran. China gets 12% of its oil from Iran, and the Iranian's threat to raise oil prices struck a chord in Beijing, to say the least.

The Iranians, for their part, are playing for time to finish things up and wrote to Britain, France and Russia asked for a renewal of `talks'.

Meanwhile, the Russians are again attempting to work both sides of the fence.
They are still `not ready' to back UN sanctions on Iran ABC News: Moscow Not Ready to Back Iran Strategy, but are attempting a back door strategy by trying again to convince the Iranians to allow uranium enrichment in Russia.

The Iranians have shown some signs of considering this. Monday, Jan. 16, the Iranian ambassador to Russia, Gholamreza Ansari, said his country is carefully examining Russia’s suggestion to establish a uranium enrichment joint venture on Russian territory. “We consider it constructive… a good initiative to sort out the situation,” he said to Russia’s Channel One.

The Iranians might seriously explore the Russian option, to find out if they can learn enough from the Russians to improve their enrichment techniques. Enrichment in Russia wouldn't stop them from continuing their own enrichment programs – openly in Natnaz and covertly at the closed military compound at Parchin and other sites scattered around the country. I wouldn't be surprised if the Iranians decided to seriously offer to discuss this project with Moscow.

They have nothing to lose, and time to gain. And in view of the disconnected results of the London meeting between the US, the EU, China and Russia, all the parties seem to be anxious to put off any hard decisions.

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