Medvedev’s Comments on the Revelations from Iran

DmitriMedvedevTDGAs I noted yesterday, based on what I’d seen of Russian Federation President Medvedev’s comments in reaction to the revelation that Iran was covertly building an additional uranium enrichment plant, I was a bit skeptical that Russia would change course and support a new sanctions regime against Iran despite the hints in that direction I was reading in the Western press. Therefore, I decided to take a glance at the Russian language press to see if I could get a clearer picture of official Russian reactions there.

Most of the accounts differed little from what I was reading in the New York Times or the Washington Post. However, this quote on Novosti from President Medvedev caught my eye:

“The construction of a new plant was not expected by any country. It was a secret construction and, consequently, it’s even more troubling in this case.”

[…]

“We should create circumstances that are comfortable for Iran so that it may begin to comply, create a system of incentives; if the incentives do not work and cooperation is not forthcoming, then other mechanisms can be undertaken.”

That’s my not completely literal translation of President Medvedev’s remarks. I don’t think I can construe that in such a way that it means that Russia will support either more stringent economic sanctions against Iran not to mention the use of force in the foreseeable future, if ever.

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Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.

Comments

  1. steve says:

    What does it mean then? (Come off the fence.) Does it really mean much if China does not go along?

    Steve

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    Both China and Russia are permanent, veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council. As long as one is willing to use its veto, the UNSC will authorize no additional sanctions. At this point it looks as though Russia will continue to veto new sanctions. That lets China off the hook.

    The US, UK, France, and Germany could impose additional sanctions without UN authorization or the US could, by regulating its own banks, freeze Iran out of the international banking system. Under present economic circumstances and considering that its economy is mostly an export economy, I wouldn’t expect Germany to go along with the sanctions and if Germany doesn’t, France probably won’t, either.

    Bottom line: we’re on our own. Honestly, I’d be pretty surprised if we did anything.

  3. JolieFleurs says:

    My first thought is that Dmi can say what he pleases, but I am far more interested in what Big Daddy Vladi says and does. Dmi is Vladi’s sock puppet.

  4. Alex Knapp says:

    I don’t think I can construe that in such a way that it means that Russia will support either more stringent economic sanctions against Iran not to mention the use of force in the foreseeable future, if ever.

    Which is okay anyway, since neither of those things would do anything to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, unless the “use of force” involved the invasion and occupation of Iran and the toppling of its government, which isn’t feasible.