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Tehran’s nuclear glue

The recent declaration by Tehran that its going to enrich uranium to 20%, has more to do with domestic reasons. We should expect more similar statements from Iran, even though they may not even be true. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/08/tehrans-nuclear-programme

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Posted on : Feb 09 2010
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Posted under Iran - Nuclear Program |

Iran and The South Ossetia Question

By: Meir Javedanfar


In yesterday’s commentary piece for the London Guardian, Alexandros Petersen, program director of the Caspian Europe Center writes:

A European democracy is under full-scale attack from Russia, and EU and Nato leaders are either wringing their hands or sitting on them. The continuing conflict in Georgia is not really about the small south-Caucasus country. By opening up a three-front offensive on Georgia, Moscow is deliberately testing Europe’s mettle”.

In Tehran the view is different. As I noted in a recent analysis for PJM Media, some Iranian strategists see the conflict as a Georgian provocation, and the fact that the US backs Tbilisi, worries them.

These concerns were reflected in an article published in Tabnak, owned by former Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezai. In an interview with Dr. Mehdi Senai, a politics lecturer at Tehran University, he says that Tehran’s nuclear program, and the international approach to resolve the dispute surrounding it, may become part of a wider agreement between the U.S. and Russia after the end of the conflict. “Russia’s capacity to confront the U.S. is limited”, warns Dr Senai.

His other concern is that if Russia comes out politically weaker from this conflict, a weakened Kremlin, seeking a deal over Georgia, could give the U.S. the green light to launch a military operation against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “In the dealings between international powers [i.e., Russia and the U.S.], Iran has to be very careful”, said Senai.

These are very logical concerns.

However for now, Russia’s military accomplishments in Georgia have most probably led to a big sigh of relief in Tehran. With its new military victory, which Russia will want to translate into more political leverage, it will be even more difficult to force the Kremlin to back tougher sanctions against Iran.

But, all could change if Russia invades Tbilisi and tries to overthrow the democratically elected administration there. Such an act could inflame international opinion, and infuriate EU and Washington. Thus Russia’s military accomplishment in doing so could bring the opposite political results, meaning isolation, and serious deterioration in relations with the US. In such a scenario, as part of its efforts to come out of isolation and to bolster its position, the Russians may place the Iranian nuclear program back on the negotiation table, again.

In terms of its goal to become self sufficient in its nuclear program, Iran is making notable strides forwards. However Iran’s noted over reliance on Russia shows that the opposite is happening in Tehran’s quest to achieve its 1979 revolutionary goal of establishing an independent political entity, free of influence from East or West.

Posted on : Aug 12 2008
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Posted under Iran - Nuclear Program |

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