Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So Does Obama-Medvedev Meeting Prove Me Wrong?

Readers of TWR know that I am not particularly sanguine about getting major Russian help on Iran. Does tonight's Obama-Medvedev meeting prove me wrong? Medvedev acknowledged that sometimes sanctions are needed and that Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon. We also have the draft resolution for the UN Security Council on countries that seek to use civilian nuclear programs as the basis for weapons development.

But the crux of the matter for the U.S. is not when Tehran crosses the line and has a working bomb, it is trusting Iran to have a nuclear infrastructure like Japan's. I think that Russia will be far more supportive of "trusting" Iran with nuclear technology than a U.S. which would prefer a much higher degree of Iranian denuclearization. And I think it is here that we will still have daylight between the positions, unless something else changes the calculus.

Well, considering that there's much daylight between the US position and the NPT, I'd say it would take a lot to get the Russians, and don't forget the Chinese, on board with closing that gap.

Especially since most of the accusations about Iran's nuclear weapons program comes from folks who were so certain Saddam had one in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

Be prepared for much bleating from these folks about how the Russians refused to reciprocate the missile defense decision. Well, the Russians have over 20 years experience of making unreciprocated concessions, and know very well this isn't one.

And if the bleaters really want to make an issue of it, they can lose Russia as a LOC to Afghanistan.
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