RUSSIA AND CHINA WILL NOT ALLOW MILITARY STRIKES
RUSSIA WILL SELL MISSILE DEFENCE SYSTEMS AND MILITARY EQUIPMENT TO IRAN
Reuters reports : "The US has failed to secure international support for sanctions against Iran...At a meeting in Moscow of deputy foreign ministers of the United Nations Security Council's permanent members - the US, Britain, France, China and Russia - plus Germany, Washington argued for sanctions to be imposed on Iran. Russia and China resisted and the meeting ended with no consensus."
But that's not the full story of what happened at the meeting.
Russia's Kommersant reports the following :
"High officials of the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain, France and Germany began negotiations on the Iranian atomic problem yesterday in Moscow. Those negotiations will be continued in negotiations today in meetings on preparations for the G8 summit in St. Petersburg. With the decisive session of the UN Security Council taking place April 28, the positions of the world powers are diametrically opposed.
The U.S. is calling for decisive action, while Russia and China oppose sanctions. Moscow's continuing unwillingness to support Washington in its most important foreign policy issue threatens seriously to complicate Russian-American relations and lead to unpleasant surprises for Moscow at the G8 summit."
Meanwhile, Russia is planning to sell missile defence systems and military equipments to Iran, much to the chagrin, and horror, of the US and Israel, who claims such systems can be dismantled and rebuilt to act as offensive missle systems.
From Novosti : "The chief of the General Staff said Wednesday that Russia would honor its commitments on supplying military equipment to Iran.
"'We discussed supplies of military equipment to Iran...but it does not fall into the category of strategic weapons,' Army General Yury Baluyevsky said after talks in Moscow with NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe General James Jones.
"At the end of 2005, Russia concluded a $700-million contract on the delivery of 29 Tor M1 air defense systems to Iran.
"Baluyevsky also said Russia's Armed Forces would not be involved in any military conflict in Iran.
"'I do not think the conflict [in Iran] will turn into a war,' he said. 'Russia will not propose the use of its armed forces in a potential military conflict on either side.'US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice continues to talk about using diplomacy to deal with the Iran crisis, while President Bush refuses to take the possibility of a nuclear strike on Iran off the table.
The US has no real choice but to use diplomacy. Without the backing of the UK, Russia, China, Germany and France, the likelihood of any military action being taken against Iran is nex to zero.
For the moment, Iran has called the US' bluff, and won.
The US now has no choice but to talk up the benefits of diplomacy, so they can claim a victory if Russia and China force Iran to stick to their word that they are not developing nuclear weapons.
From the Sydney Morning Herald : "US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has expressed confidence a diplomatic solution will be found to the Iranian nuclear crisis...
"'I believe we can make the diplomacy work,' Rice said. "And long before we get to the point that we have to contemplate diplomacy failing I believe we have options at our disposal."But the Russians and Chinese, and the Iranians, see the US threat for what it really is, just talk, aimed at capturing the headlines back home and making the Bush Administration appear as though it will stand by its word on never allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons.
Israel,. meanwhile, remains the wild card in the deck. They have threatened in the past to take action against Iran if they see final proof that nuclear weapons are being developed.
But Israel faces the real possibility of military action against them coming from Russia, and even China, who have said that they will not tolerate an attack on Iran, under any circumstances.