Beware of the Bear

As many experts are expecting some type of a showdown between the US and Iran, Russia wants a "softer approach". Yet while Russia does want a softer approach, it's not for the reasons many people think.

Here in an interview with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, we begin to see Russian's true stance on the matter, and their underlying motive to stand back.

"Russia in the past has discouraged a push by the United States and Europe to refer Iran to the United Nations Security Council over its pursuit of a complete nuclear fuel cycle the West fears could be used to make nuclear weapons. But Moscow has signaled a change in its stance toward Tehran. In recent days, officials including Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov have indicated they would not block a Security Council referral, although they would likely still oppose sanctions. Vladimir Mukhin, a military analyst with the Russian newspaper “Nezavisimaya gazeta” and a professor at the country’s Academy of Military Sciences, spoke last week to Ivanov about Iran. Mukhin told RFE/RL’s Tajik Service correspondent Iskander Aliev about the interview."

Here are the key parts from the interview:

"Are there any other details that you, as a military specialist, would like to add that I haven’t asked you about yet?

I think that given the current situation, Russia will not take any serious steps or follow the West’s cue. As I already mentioned, Russia will probably defend its own interests while helping Iran solve this problem. The reasoning is military and geopolitical. Moscow really doesn’t like American activity in the South Caucasus.... Moscow will never go for a souring of relations with Iran, no matter what Iran does. Right now, Iran can act as an ally, because there is the current question of Iran joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It has already been accepted as an observer [just like India] and in this particular case Russia will profit from creating some sort of alliance with Iran to resist the expansion of NATO and the United States in the South Caucasus and the Middle East. These are important goals for Moscow, and our understanding [of them] allows us to predict what [Moscow] will be doing in the future.

Well that's an understatement. In fact, back in this post, I wrote that China and Russian both resent what they call feel is world dominance by the United States, and have formed aliances designed to thwart that dominance or at least stall it, and even in one particularly disturbing scenario where they may draw the US in a conflict over Taiwan.

More my take on this growing threat here.

Again, we'd better wake up.