Russia: New sanctions on Iran “counterproductive”

posted at 12:55 pm on October 14, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in part for his willingness to knuckle under to Russian demands to stop the land-based missile-defense system in eastern Europe.  Thorbjoern Jagland cited that explicitly as an accomplishment worthy of the NPP, much as the White House itself had hailed it three weeks earlier as a major step forward towards containment of Iran and cooperation on sanctions:

The White House claimed a key victory Wednesday in its effort to create momentum toward sanctions against Iran for its pursuit of nuclear weapons, saying that comments by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev after a meeting with President Obama represented a shift toward favoring punitive action…

Michael McFaul, the president’s top Russia adviser, called Mr. Medvedev’s statement on Iran “a very big change in [Russia’s] position.” He said that the administration’s decision last week to drop a missile-defense plan that had angered the Kremlin had increased the odds of a change.

Today, though, the White House has plenty of egg on its Nobel-winning face, as Russia has reversed themselves and declared that they will not approve further sanctions on Iran:

Denting President Obama’s hopes for a powerful ally in his campaign to press Iran on its nuclear program, Russia’s foreign minister said Tuesday that threatening Tehran now with harsh new sanctions would be “counterproductive.”

The minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, said after meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton here that diplomacy should be given a chance to work, particularly after a meeting in Geneva this month in which the Iranian government said it would allow United Nations inspectors to visit its clandestine nuclear enrichment site near the holy city of Qum.

“At the current stage, all forces should be thrown at supporting the negotiating process,” he said. “Threats, sanctions and threats of pressure in the current situation, we are convinced, would be counterproductive.”

Mr. Lavrov’s resistance was striking given that, just three weeks before, President Dmitri A. Medvedev said that “in some cases, sanctions are inevitable.” American officials had hailed that statement as a sign that Russia was finally coming around to the Obama administration’s view that Iran is best handled with diplomacy backed by a credible threat of sanctions.

It also came after the Obama administration announced that it would retool a European missile defense system fiercely opposed by Russia. That move was thought to have paid dividends for the White House when Mr. Medvedev appeared to throw his support behind Mr. Obama on Iran, though American officials say the Russian president was also likely to have been reacting to the disclosure of the secret nuclear site near Qum.

Russia acts in Russia’s interests.  It has a big commercial interest in Iran, and especially in the Iranian nuclear program.  Anyone who didn’t see this as a big impediment for Russian action against Iran probably drank a little too much of the Hopeandchange Kool-aid, or maybe spent too much time fashioning and mislabeling “reset” buttons rather than learning geopolitics.

The missile-defense shield gambit may have made sense as a bargaining chip to force Russia into conceding on sanctions.  However, like any other amateur negotiator, Obama led off with his biggest concession and expected international  goodwill to trump Russia’s national interest.  Apparently, Obama didn’t bother to reckon with a Russian economy expected to contract 7.6% this year and Moscow’s need to maintain any economic links it has open at the moment.

The New York Times points out that this diplomatic pratfall will not impress the Chinese any more than the Russians:

Enlisting Russia is critical for any sanctions campaign because of its geopolitical links to Iran. Russia’s refusal to act now may influence China, which has invested heavily in Iranian oil and gas reserves and has also been wary of sanctions. That Mr. Putin was in Beijing cutting deals while Mrs. Clinton was in Moscow warning about Iran was not lost on analysts here.

It should not be lost on the American public, either.  Obama just got outboxed by Russia, and the world will notice it.  The Nobel committee may shower him with accolades, but American security depends on more than a medal from Oslo.  So far, that appears to be the booby prize for the US for its retreat on missile defense.


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Comments

Obama is such a child.

Terrye on October 14, 2009 at 3:20 PM

And to top it all off, the Obama Administration has opened the door to US nuclear sites to Russian “inspectors.”

And in return? Zip.

coldwarrior on October 14, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Awwwhhh the Russians lied to Pinnochio,

Seems it must be a conspiracy!
Joe Wilson Lied when he called Pinnochio a liar,
Fox News Lies when they report on Pinnochio’s lies and
the Russians lie to the young and foolish puppet when they want some missle defenses removed so they can easier invade former colonies!

Quick CNN best fact check these lies to see which is correct and which is false!

dhunter on October 14, 2009 at 3:32 PM

But I guess it’s fun to blame it on Obama.

dave742 on October 14, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Obama and the democrats are the ones who have bragged over and over and over about their “smart power”,”reset buttons”,and “changing the world”.

They are the ones being made fools out of so anybody in touch with reality would hold them responsible for appeasing Russia at every turn only to get bit#h slapped.

Of course the super smart liberals will blame this on Bush because that is all they have.

BTW, Russia has had the same stance for a long time now.

No sh!t dave,
Republicans have been saying that all through your Mr. Hope and change’s pronouncements of “reseting” relations because Bush was just such a big bad bully.

The Iranians have also had the same stance and actions for years.
Lie and stall long enough to get the bomb.

With your liberal Messiah in charge, they are having a much easier time completing their goals than they could ever imagine.

So yes, it is Obama’s fault.
The buck stops at the Presidents desk.

Or does that only apply to Republican Presidents like dissent being patriotic.

It’s hard to keep up with the liberal hypocrisy and spin that comes out on a daily basis.

Baxter Greene on October 14, 2009 at 3:41 PM

You know who respects and fears Te Won? Nobody.

MCPO Airdale on October 14, 2009 at 3:44 PM

Baxter:
When I said “Russia has had the same stance for a long time now,” I meant that they had the same stance when Bush was president (the article was from September last year), and Bush didn’t seem to have a different response. Was he appeasing Russia as well?

With your liberal Messiah in charge

He’s not mine. I said he is an ass. That should tell you that I don’t like him.

dave742 on October 14, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Meanwhile…
Washington Promises to Tone Down Criticism of Kremlin
The US needs the Kremlin’s support on Iran, Afghanistan and disarmament. Now Washington has promised Moscow to stop its continual criticism of Russia’s democracy in a bid to get it on board.

albill on October 14, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Played like a cheap fiddle.

Matticus Finch on October 14, 2009 at 3:52 PM

On the bright side…

Only 1193 days until we inaugurate a New President. If we can hold out that long.

coldwarrior on October 14, 2009 at 3:53 PM

Bush didn’t seem to have a different response. Was he appeasing Russia as well?
dave742 on October 14, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Bush actually held Russia accountable for their support of Saddam,Iran,and their threat to new Europe.

Bush actually stepped in to stop the Russian surge in Georgia by sending relief supplies delivered by our Military.
This insured that Putin would not advance since firing on our military would ensure a major use of force against them.

Bush also set up missile defense in Poland to allow us to put up a military instillation that would keep an eye on Russia and send a message that any aggression toward this region would be defended with the support of America.
Using Iran’s missile threat was the main selling point but anybody that followed this closely knew that keeping an eye on Russia was another aspect to this.

Obama destroyed all of this in the hopes of getting Russia to work with him.
It has blown up in his face.

“Smart Power” in action.

Bush went through the EU,and UN like liberals are constantly whining about in trying to stop Iran’s pursuit of the bomb.
With these international negotiations bringing nothing but failure like they always do in dealing with terrorist dictators,Bush made it clear that force was an option.

This was so clear that the CIA politicized the 2007 NIE concerning Iran to thwart any support of force to be used against them much to the joy and salutations of liberals across the Nation.

Now we know the NIE was a partisan hit job that ignored intel that supported Bush’s claims of Iran’s pursuit of the bomb.

So no, Bush was far from being an appeaser.
It is the liberals who are always calling him the warmonger,nazi-neocon who was bullying the world with his imperialistic policies.
Can’t be a warmonger and appeaser at the same time.
You liberals need to get your talking points straight and make up your mind.

Bush = Warmonger or appeaser.

I personally call Bush a liberator.
Freeing 50 million people from some of the worst terrorist regimes in history is why.

Baxter Greene on October 14, 2009 at 4:10 PM

He’s not mine. I said he is an ass. That should tell you that I don’t like him.

dave742 on October 14, 2009 at 3:47 PM

Really dave.
You dislike him so much you just defended him in your earlier post:

But I guess it’s fun to blame it on Obama.

dave742 on October 14, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Baxter Greene on October 14, 2009 at 4:15 PM

Baxter:

You dislike him so much you just defended him in your earlier post (by saying “But I guess it’s fun to blame it on Obama”.

I made that remark because people here freak out about what Obama did or did not do when the exact same thing happened to Bush, and he did or did not do the same thing. My remark was not defending Obama, but making a comment about the people here having the memory of a fish. I doubt if there was a thread on HA when Bush was appeasing Russia. But if you think I like Obama, there’s not much I can do about it.

dave742 on October 14, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Baxter Greene:
You bring up all the great things that Bush did regarding Russia. When Russia told the US and Bush that they reject more sanctions, what should Bush have done? Was it OK for Bush to not do anything in response because he had already done those great things?

SO if you were installed as the US president today, what would you do in response to Russia? Start a war?

dave742 on October 14, 2009 at 4:27 PM

What a sucker. We sold out the Poles, our best friends and staunchest allies for nothing. Thanks Barack , you big genius you!

ntmaloney on October 14, 2009 at 4:41 PM

but making a comment about the people here having the memory of a fish. I doubt if there was a thread on HA when Bush was appeasing Russia

As usual dave, you throw insults and make accusations that only confirm you have no idea what you are talking about.

Here is one to the Post’s on Bush that you say don’t exist here at Hot Air:


Richardson tries hard to disqualify himself as VP
posted at 10:55 am on August 11, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Point 1: We’ve spent the last several years watching Bush kiss up to Vladimir Putin, which has paid off on almost nothing at all — not Iraq, Iran, Darfur, not even an obvious crisis like Zimbabwe.

Unlike liberals, we don’t stay on bended knee to our elected leaders.

We let the facts,actions, and results determine our opnions.

Not “feelings” and “talking points” like liberals.

Was it OK for Bush to not do anything in response because he had already done those great things?

As I have already stated, Bush was addressing this the best way he could with two wars and the democrats combined with the MSM hammering away at him using the difficulties of war as a bat to beat him down politically.

If I was President, I would confer with the military and experts on the regions to see what the best course of action would be.
I would certainly use the UN as a front of diplomacy while I worked on getting much of new Europe either in NATO or armed and capable of defending itself from Russia.

Russia does not have the means or resources to get into another arms race.
The stronger the satellite nations are around Russia, the more they will be held in check.
I would drill and use every resource to get energy from America so that we could be independent of sources that could use it blackmail us.
We would also be able to supply nations in new Europe with supplies if Russia continued their games of cutting of gas lines and supplies.
I would fund groups that are fighting for democracy.
We hold serious economic power over Russia so I would use trade policies that would crunch their trading power.

I am sure if I was President I would be exposed to many more areas of intelligence and know how on what it would take to keep Russia in it’s place and be more open to sanctions.
Sanctions have a terrible track record so my attention would be on working with Saudi,Israel, and other nations in letting Iran know that under no uncertain terms,they will not get the bomb.
We will use force.

Pretty much the opposite of what liberals are doing now while they become a laughing stock on the world stage.

Baxter Greene on October 14, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Baxter Greene:
When I asked you about Bush appeasing Russia, you said he “was far from being an appeaser.” Now you point out that Ed said that “we’ve spent the last several years watching Bush kiss up to Vladimir Putin.” First off, I guess you disagree with Ed. And even if Ed thought that Bush was an appeaser, he doesn’t seem as outspoken about it compared to Obama. Even when Ed said that Bush was kissing up to Putin, it was in a thread whose subject was that Bill Richardson wanted to appease Russia. So even when Bush is kissing up to Russia, the real problem is that a Democrat wants to get elected and do the same thing.

I wish you luck with your platform on Russia.

dave742 on October 14, 2009 at 5:50 PM

dave742 on October 14, 2009 at 5:50 PM

Dave,you stated you doubted there was a thread where Bush was called out as appeasing Russia.

but making a comment about the people here having the memory of a fish. I doubt if there was a thread on HA when Bush was appeasing Russia

One of the men running Hot Air (Capitan Ed) stated quite clearly that he felt Bush was an appeaser in his thread.
Whether it was about Richardson or not, the statement about Bush was made and is up for debate like all statements in a post.
Many people pull quotes or statements from the body of an article to comment on it. It does not diminish the statement or what it means.
You insinuation that there is not valid dissent concerning Bush was wrong.
Spin it however you like.

My opinion is that Bush did the best he could under the circumstances.
Bush was far from weak and his policies did not base themselves on capitulation like Obama’s.

So even when Bush is kissing up to Russia, the real problem is that a Democrat wants to get elected and do the same thing.

When the democratic party is running it’s election campaign based on “Hope and change” but still maintains most of the policies that they whined and cried about for years…it is worth pointing out the pathetic hypocrisy.

Still does not change the fact that dissent on Bush’s policies was discussed and posted on this blog.

Your liberal Messiah is in charge now.

…Your liberal party is the one that spent years telling everybody how “smart” they were and how “dumb” everybody else was that opposed them.

…Your party is the one serving up “reset” buttons and wasting time with name changes of “terrorism to man made disasters”.

…Your party is the one that is being made an absolute fool of on a daily basis by the likes of Putin, Ahmadinejad, Kim Yong,and the jihadist.

…Your party is the one who laid out a strategy to win the “good war” in Afghanistan in March and now has no idea what to do.


Good luck with defending your “smart power”.

Baxter Greene on October 14, 2009 at 6:20 PM

Good Lord, did he really think a few years a la Chicago politics would prepare him to ‘negotiate’ with Russia and China and the EU and, dare I say it…. Canada.

lmao, what a wanker and an amatuer.

Stand straight BO – chest out, stomach in, arms at your side… now, left – right – left – right… good boy, you’ll get it soon enough. . . .

karra on October 14, 2009 at 6:25 PM

baxter:
“Your liberal party”

I voted for Cynthia KcKinney, I am not a Democrat. Why do you think I am lying?

dave742 on October 14, 2009 at 7:29 PM

I voted for Cynthia KcKinney,

dave742 on October 14, 2009 at 7:29 PM


This explains a lot.

Baxter Greene on October 14, 2009 at 8:36 PM

So far, that appears to be the booby prize for the US for its retreat on missile defense.

I TOTALLY AGREE.

Good Lord, did he really think a few years a la Chicago politics would prepare him to ‘negotiate’ with Russia and China and the EU and, dare I say it…. Canada.

karra on October 14, 2009 at 6:25 PM

Russia was the subject of his Thesis. It’s about time to make a public review of Obama’s thesis to see where Obama’s foreign policy viewpoint is really coming from. This must be made public. I suspect that the content of that Thesis WILL BE A SHOCKER.!!!!

TheAlamos on October 15, 2009 at 3:20 AM