Monday, March 19, 2007

NYT: Russia Gives Ultimatum To Iran

Here is the article, if you can believe the NYT, that is.

Russia has informed Iran that it will withhold nuclear fuel for Iran’s nearly completed Bushehr power plant unless Iran suspends its uranium enrichment as demanded by the United Nations Security Council, European, American and Iranian officials said.

The ultimatum was delivered in Moscow last week by Igor Ivanov, Russia’s Security Council Secretary, to Ali Hosseini Tash, Iran’s deputy chief nuclear negotiator, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because a confidential diplomatic exchange between two governments was involved.


As of this writing, this is the only article I have found on this particular development. But if it's accurate, others will most certainly follow suit and validate this information. If it's true, this is a significant development in the process. Because without help from those that can best help, there is little leverage that can be used against the Iranians.

If this pans out as a verifiable story, it could signal a shift in U.S./Russia relations, depending on what has been offered them. As is always the case with these hot stories being broken by publications that are losing more and more sales as time passes on, one must be suspicious. There is great cause for both skepticism and cynicism, as the two often go hand-in-hand in these kinds of situations.

But more than anything, I hope it's true and applaud the Russians, if it is.


Addendum: Maybe this will go to show, this was the right choice after all.

4 comments:

Greg said...

This would indeed be a major shift in Russia's Iran policy. Could it mean that the European diplomatic approach is actual bearing fruit? I'm highly skeptical. Need confirmation and follow-through by Russia.

LASunsett said...

Greg

//Need confirmation and follow-through by Russia.//

The phrase that comes to mind first is, "cautious optimism". I do not find that Europe is able to be credited with this. Russia is the one that appears to be putting the hammer down. Europe wanted to bribe their way through by giving away the store, Russia is using blackmail. In this case, blackmail has a better chance of achieving the positive outcome.

Greg said...

So it seems Lavrov came out today and said this decision has nothing to do with UN sanctions, but is a response to non-payment by the mullahs. Everything's back to normal, then.

LASunsett said...

Greg,

//Everything's back to normal, then.//

My how we all crave normalcy. Pity isn't it?