Iran Sanctions Off the Table in Moscow

A0023435.jpgTEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Zionist Regime’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made it clear on his way to Moscow Tuesday that he was not going to push Russian President Vladimir Putin to back sanctions against Teheran, a clear indication that Israel wanted to steer clear of a public confrontation over the Iranian nuclear issue.

Asked on the plane whether he would press Putin on the sanctions issue, Olmert said that he was not going to go into such details, but rather deal with the principle of the need to keep Iran from going nuclear.

“I think that Russia understands that this is an existential threat for Israel, and am convinced that they don’t want to see a nuclear Iran,” Olmert said.

Diplomatic officials in Moscow said Israel and Russia had been talking about the issue for years and that each side was well acquainted with the others’ position.

The officials said the Kremlin was skeptical of Israeli assessments that the Iranians would master the nuclear technology cycle within a number of months, because Israel has issued such warnings a number of times in the past.

While the officials said that Russia definitely did not want a nuclear Iran on its border, they said it felt that Teheran was a long way away from reaching nuclear capability and that Iran was not pursuing military purposes.

The officials added that there were those in the Russian leadership who believed talk of sanctions was just an American ploy to cut Russia out of huge contracts in Iran in order to eventually get them for US firms. The officials said that in evaluating Russia’s position on Iran it was necessary to understand that they viewed it through the prism of what many in Moscow view as suspect American aims.

Russia views Israel as in America’s pocket and doing Washington’s bidding regarding Iran, the officials said.

Russia, according to these officials, is concerned that sanctions on Iran would jeopardize its billion-dollar project to build a nuclear reactor for Iran at Bushehr. Not only is Russia building that reactor, which Israel now seems satisfied is not being used for military purposes, but – as an even greater pot sweetener – it is also selling the Iranians the anti-aircraft missiles with which to protect the installation.

The officials said that, while Russia was opposed to a nuclear Iran, it would never join military actions against it because of the fear that this would incite unrest among its own not-insignificant Muslim population. Also, the officials said, Moscow was also opposed to any military action by the US or Israel because of a fear that this would ignite the region.

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