Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The boys who cried "nuke"

China, Russia united on Iran

By Lindsay Beck
Tuesday, March 21, 2006; 7:59 AM

BEIJING (Reuters) - China and Russia are united in pushing for more diplomacy to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue, China said on Tuesday, a day after the two deflected Western moves to authorize U.N. Security Council threats against Iran.

Russia digs in against UN Council action on Iran

By Irwin Arieff
Wednesday, March 22, 2006; 4:11 PM

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia's foreign minister on Wednesday firmly rejected a draft U.N. Security Council statement aimed at pressuring Iran to stop enriching uranium, despite a new offer of amendments by Western powers.


Russia, backed by China, wants to delete large sections of the draft statement the Security Council has been studying for nearly two weeks as a first reaction to Iran's nuclear research, which the West believes is a cover for bomb-making. Iran insists it wants only to produce electric power.

Both nations fear that involvement by the 15-member council, which can impose sanctions, could escalate and lead to punitive measures including possibly military action.

Moscow, diplomats said, opposes even the draft's request for a report to the council on Iran's compliance with the demands of the IAEA in Vienna, the U.N. nuclear watchdog. Russia wants the request to come from the IAEA board of governors, not the council, they said.

As the saying goes, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. It looks like China and Russia are singing the classic Who song, Won't Get Fooled Again.

When I write "fooled" I don't mean to suggest that Russian or Chinese diplomats were taken by surprise by the US military action in Iraq. I think the surprise came in the way they have been shut out of the oil game. I don't think there would be so much dissension over Iran had the spoils of Iraq been divided up more evenly, including to the Iraqis themselves.

Of course, why divide the spoils if you think you are the horsemen of the new millennium, which, it seems to me, is what the Neo-Cons think they are. But that is tomorrow's story.