Sunday, November 12, 2006

The WTO/Russia/Iran riddle

Putin and Larijani peform the special secret jihad handshake...

One of the things I like to bring to your attention on this site is how seemingly unrelated items can intertwine to reveal the story behind the story. Here's a good case in point.

Some of you may remember the Hijinks at the G-8 Summit when Putin and Russia hosted the G-8 summit and lobbied hard for membership in the World Trade Organization. Membership in the WTO carries a number of major trade benefits.

Bush essentially blocked Russia's prospective entry over Putin's doublecross in refusing to play ball on backing for sanctions on Iran, as well as problems the president saw in the old KGB apparatchnik's approach to democracy. Vlad was furious at the time..and note, even back then (and actually, months before that), he was saying that Russia would never back sanctions on Iran and that the mullahs had the right to `all aspects of nuclear technology.'

All of a sudden two events occur at just about the same time: Russia gets the US nod to join the WTO and , at the same time, Iran's nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani is in Moscow conducting in depth talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on how the Iran nukes crisis might be resolved.

And after Larijani’s talks with Putin yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said Iran would continue to study a package of economic and security incentives offered by the six powers if Tehran agrees to halt uranium enrichment.

“Iran has responded to these proposals and we think that in showing its good will, there is a possibility, beginning with the proposals of the Six and taking Iran’s response into account, to find an acceptable basis for talks to restart,” Lavrov said.


Did Dubbyah dangle the WTO carrot to get this Russians to pull their finger out and try to talk some sense to the Mullahs? What other carrots were offered to Iran? Was a US pull out in Iraq (leaving the country open to de facto Iranian control) as a quid pro quo for ending uranium enrichment by Iran discussed?

I think all of these items were on the table and a deal is in the making. Not that Iran or Russia will abide by it, but it might be enough to save face for Iran and make everybody go to sleep for a couple of years while Iran gets their nuke program up and running - and Dubbyah can take credit for an exit from Iraq and `defusing' (LOL!!) the Iran nuclear crisis, a strategy coup redolent of the Clinton years as he rides off into the sunset.

Stay tuned...

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