Sunday, 13 November 2011


There is a very interesting article in Voice of America about how Obama has tried to pressure China and Russia to go along with US-led punitive measures (everything from sanctions to diplomatic pressure and not taking off the table the military option) against Iran. Even more intriguing is that Moscow and Beijing are keeping their cards close to the vest, demanding instead that the US and EU get their houses in order with regard to public deficits that are causing global economic instability.

Officially, China and Russia are saying that they do not want Iran to join the 'nuclear club', but they are unwilling, so far, to use the US-Israel-IAEA argument that Iran is preparing to develop nuclear weapons. Is is indeed sad to see that Obama, getting ready for the 2012 campaign season, has few options and not much leverage, given that the Republicans are foaming at the mouth about Iran and its links to Syria, terrorism, etc.

If Russia and China signal that they are neutral on US unilateral action (including Israel engaging in surgical hits), Obama may have an issue to brag about during the campaign when he tries to win conservative Democrats. The US-Russia-China consensus can only be made possible, as I stated in a previous posting, if the US makes substantial concessions to Moscow and Beijing. That Iran may in the future possess nuclear weapons is hardly a threat to China or Russia that have Iran encircled.

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