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Moscow affirms ties with Iranian radicals
Posted By F. Michael Maloof On 03/02/2013 @ 8:56 pm In Front Page,U.S.,World | No Comments
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WASHINGTON – Moscow is reaffirming its ties to Tehran as a “geopolitical ally” as it seeks closer diplomatic, economic and cultural ties with the Islamic republic, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Deputy Speaker of the Russian State Duma and Head of the Russia-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group Nikolai Levichev signaled that Moscow would draw even closer to Tehran in the face of increasing pressure from the West to tighten sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program.
Levichev’s reaffirmation of that relationship following a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, also may signal to the West that any effort to take military action against Iran over its nuclear program would be opposed by Moscow.
The Kremlin built Iran’s first nuclear reactor at Bushehr and has some 1,500 technicians on site, which would presumably preclude any military action against the facility without serious international repercussions.
Levichev said that Moscow opposes imposing any unilateral sanctions against the Islamic republic over its nuclear development program, a position it has consistently held, even though the Kremlin did support very watered down United Nations sanctions two years ago.
Western countries, known as the P5+1 group, intend to continue discussions soon in Almaty, Kazakhstan, to look for ways for Iran to halt its nuclear development program.
P5+1 refers to the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – the United States, Britain, Russia, France and China, with Germany as the additional one.
The West is hoping to reach an accommodation with Iran in the face of renewed concerns on the part of Israel over Iran’s nuclear program, which Tel Aviv believes is a cover to make nuclear weapons.
In the past, Israel has threatened military action, although such talk recently has subsided even though it remains an option if all diplomatic efforts and sanctions fail.
However, Israel once again has raised concerns over how close Iran is to developing a nuclear weapon.
For its part, however, Iran denies any nuclear weapon development, although through its enrichment program it insists that it has a right to pursue such an effort as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the international nuclear watchdog.
Israel, however, has been the most vocal in making threats to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, even though it refuses to acknowledge its own nuclear weapons as assessed by the U.S. intelligence community.
In addition, Israel is neither a signatory to the NPT nor a member of the IAEA.
Moscow’s close ties with Tehran follow its support for Syria, an ally of Iran. The Kremlin views Iran as strategically important because of its support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
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