Friday, October 26, 2007

Putin To US : Attack Iran And You Attack Russia

US Like A "Madman Waving Knife" Over Iran Threats

Caspian Summit A Triumph For Iran-Russia Alliance

Russian president Vladimir Putin has fired up his attack on BushCo. over its threats against Iran, likening them to a "madman waving a knife" and repeatedly stating that Iran poses no threat to the US, Europe or Middle East nations. Putin's raising of the rhetorical volume in support of Iran follows the historic events of the recent Caspian Sea states summit.

Some more details from a comprehensive Asia Times report on the summit, where Putin and Iran's president firmed up their alliance, and showed utter defiance in the face of NeoCon demands for air strikes on the joint Iran-Russia nuclear facilities, and a cascade of anti-Iran propaganda from the American media. The message from Putin to the Caspian states was a loud 'You don't need America anymore, and you don't need to fear their threats either'. It was a monumentally historic event, strategically and diplomatically, and the true importance of the summit has barely registered in the western media. As usual :
The two day summit, coinciding with twin nuclear crises and escalating US-Iran tensions relating to Iraq and the Middle East, is bound to be regarded as a milestone in regional cooperation, with serious ramifications for a broad array of issues transcending the Caspian Sea region.

Billed as a "great leap toward progress" by Mehdi Safari, Iran's eputy Foreign Minister in charge of Iran's Caspian affairs, the summit has been a great success for Iran as well as Russia and the other participants (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan), and Tehran is likely to capitalize on it as a stepping stone for full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), considered a security counterweight to NATO and US "hegemony".

Indeed, it is as much shared interests as common worries and concerns, eg, the US's unbounded interventionist policies, that have now brought Iran and Russia closer together and to the verge of a new strategic relationship. After all, both Iran and Russia are today objects of American coercion, their national security interests and objectives imperiled by the US's post-9/11 militarism and its feudalistic ossification of the international order.

The upshot of the Caspian summit is, in fact, a prominent message about the need to democratize the international order by erecting effective barriers to the American "leviathan", as shown by specific agreements reached at the summit, including prohibiting other countries from using the littoral states for attacks on one another "under any circumstances'', and disallowing any ship not flying the national flag of a littoral state on Caspian waters.

...Moscow is now poised to enter into a new strategic relationship with Iran that will serve the geostrategic, security, and other shared interests of both nations.

"Iran is an important regional and global power," President Vladimir Putin said after his initial meeting with Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, who has been much vilified in the West and yet is respected in the Third World and beyond as an assertive leader of a developing nation standing up to world-domineering policies.

A major achievement for Iran's diplomacy and particularly for Amadinejad's embattled foreign policy team, the "good news" summit will likely serve as the hinge that opens new breathing space for Iran's diplomacy, and not just toward the Caspian, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Iran's Persian Gulf policy is also bound to benefit from the improved image of Iran in the Middle East, making more attractive Iran's role as a corridor to Central Asia which the Arab world in general and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in particular can take advantage of in their external trade and energy policies.

...Russia's commitment to complete Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, represents yet another significant development for Iran, which has defied the UN Security Council's resolutions calling for a suspension of uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities. By stating on record that there is no evidence to support the allegations of a nuclear weapon ambition on Iran's part, Putin looks to have provoked Washington's fury, as seen in Condoleezza Rice's instant counterpunch that Iran has been "lying" about its nuclear program. Yet more importantly Putin has signalled the beginning of the end of Rice-crafted "diplomatic consensus" vis-a-vis Iran.

Putin has held his ground against his Washington detractors, wooing various European leaders such as Germany's Angela Merkel and snubbing the pro-US Nicolas Sarkozy, while working on a new model of Russia-EU relations that is not dominated by US prerogatives. There is undoubtedly an element of risk here and Putin's new Iran policy may backfire, particularly if he does not generate more Iranian cooperation on the nuclear issue.

The "lonely superpower" that Samuel Huntington once wrote about now appears dangerously on the verge of losing its "coalition of the willing" against Iran, both inside and outside the United Nations. The only choice is either stubborn refusal to make the necessary policy adjustments toward Iran, along the lines of a non-threatening civil diplomacy, or to face what is certain to be a diplomatic defeat in the global arena.
More from Putin on his "madman" with a "knife" allegory about US sanctions against Iran, and the storm of 'Bomb Iran' demands clogging up the American media :

"To run around like a madman waving a knife is not the best way forward,'' Putin said...

"Why drive the situation into a dead end?''

Putin was in Iran last week for talks with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and leaders of all other countries with a Caspian Sea coastline. They agreed none of the Caspian states would allow their territory to be used to launch an attack on Iran. Putin told French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Moscow Oct. 9 there's no evidence Iran is developing a nuclear weapon.

"We are categorically against breaking all norms of international law,'' Putin said today. Putin has repeatedly said that only the United Nations is empowered to take further action to limit Iran's nuclear ambitions.

More on Russia's claims that Iran poses no threat, while US 'missile defence' in Europe certain does.

Pepe Escobar explains the 'Attack Iran And You Attack Russia' paradigm.