WASHINGTON – Moscow has informed Washington it will not put up with unilateral U.S. sanctions against Russian companies because of their continued trade with Iran, says a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The Kremlin has pointed out it has adhered to sanctions passed by the United Nations but will not abide by unilateral sanctions imposed on its companies by the United States or the European Union.
This development is but the latest as the United States and Russia are heading for a confrontation over their opposite positions on Syria. Moscow continues to support the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Russians have a strategic base at the Syrian port of Tartous, which is used for intelligence gathering and to service Russian naval ships for access to the Mediterranean Sea. The Russians perceive the U.S. effort to oust al-Assad really is aimed at the Syrian regime’s alliance with Iran.
Because Moscow also supports Tehran, it may be on a collision course with Washington over geostrategic concerns that a weakened Iran would pose for it. For Russia, Shi’ite Iran, like the Shi’ite Alawite regime of Syria’s al-Assad, has been an impediment until now to the spread of the more radical Sunni Salafist form of Islam which has al-Qaida as an adherent.
To some analysts, the U.S. effort to oust al-Assad in an effort to sever the alliance with Iran has put the U.S. in the position of siding with al-Qaida and the Salafists who are being pushed by Sunni Saudi Arabia.
China is in a similar position. Beijing, like Moscow, sees Shi’ite Iran as a bulwark to the spread of Sunni Salafist radicals into its western region of Xinjiang province.
For that reason, neither Moscow nor Beijing trusts Saudi Arabia, which has exhibited a more assertive foreign policy approach to stem the influence of Iran in the Arab countries.
Analysts agree if the U.S. presses further for the ouster of al-Assad, it could put Washington on a greater collision course with Moscow, resulting in a possible freeze in relations, or worse.
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