Russia: What Iranian nuclear-weapon program?

posted at 12:05 pm on January 2, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Say, remember when the Obama administration sent Hillary Clinton to Geneva with a “reset button” for Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to show that they would improve US-Russian relations, in large part to put more pressure on Iran to abandon its nuclear-weapons program?  Recall when Barack Obama betrayed the Poles — on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion in World War II, no less — in abandoning the eastern Europe missile shield in order to get more Russian cooperation on Iran?  How has that demonstration of smart power worked out for us?

About as well as we thought (via Andrew McCarthy):

Russia has proof that Iran is not engaged in a nuclear weapon programme, a top Russian diplomat ha[s] said.

“We have verified data showing that there is no reliable evidence for the existence of a military component” in Iran’s nuclear programme, said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

“To put it simpler, there is no proof of a military component in Iran’s nuclear program,” Mr. Ryabkov told Russia-24 TV news channel on Friday.

Ah well, I guess we can stop worrying about it, then — even though the IAEA found “credible” evidence that the Iranians have tested bomb components for a nuclear weapon, and could have enough fissile material to build a bomb within months.  They just finished testing their first domestically-produced nuclear fuel rod and have it installed in their research core, according to the Iranians themselves:

Iran has succeeded in building and testing the country’s first domestically produced nuclear fuel rod, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Sunday.

The uranium fuel rod was tested successfully and installed in the core of a research reactor in Tehran, the news agency said, citing Iran’s atomic energy agency website.

Fuel rods are stacks of low-enriched uranium pellets that are bundled together at the core of a nuclear reactor. Sunday’s announcement appeared aimed at demonstrating Iran’s growing sophistication in developing a home-grown nuclear program, amid fears from the West that it will use its knowledge to build nuclear weapons.

That’s not the only effort the Iranians have been making over the last few months.  According to the Washington Post, the Iranians are wooing Latin America in what looks like a replay of the Soviet Union’s diplomatic effort to put pressure on the US, as well as a way to evade sanctions:

Iran is quietly seeking to expand its ties with Latin America in what U.S. officials and regional experts say is an effort to circumvent economic sanctions and gain access to much-needed markets and raw materials.

The new diplomatic offensive, which comes amid rising tensions with Washington and European powers, includes a four-nation swing through South and Central America this month by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His government has vowed to increase its economic, political and military influence in the United States’ back yard. …

Iran has also dramatically expanded its diplomatic missions throughout the hemisphere and dispatched members of its elite Quds Force — the military unit U.S. officials in October linked to a foiled assassination plot in Washington — to serve in its embassies, U.S. officials and Iran experts say.

The importance of Ahmadinejad’s visit was underscored last week by Iran’s state-owned Press TV, which said promotion of “all-out cooperation with Latin American countries is among the top priorities of the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy.”

What about those sanctions?  The Russians scolded the West for their harshness towards Tehran:

“Sanctions have gone way too far. They heavily outweigh what is being done in the sphere of talks. We must push harder on the negotiating track,” said the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister.

Smart power.  Maybe we should just start building the missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic after all.


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Smart power. Maybe we should just start building the missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic after all.

1) Elect Ron Paul
2) ???
3) Profit, or Prophet?

SWalker on January 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Maybe we should just start building the missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic after all.

Iran’s longest range missile is ~3-4k kilometers with longer ranged missiles under development.

Distance between Caracas and Chicago ~4k kilometers.

Skandia Recluse on January 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM

The one behind door number Three…Alex!

KOOLAID2 on January 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Who caaaressss if Iran hasss nukes.

Weeeeeeeeeeeeee areeee the problem!

Luap Nor 2012

Jimmy In Jersey on January 2, 2012 at 12:16 PM

love that pic, Ed!!!

ted c on January 2, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Maybe we should just start building the missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic after all.

Maybe it’s time for Europe to pony up for Europe’s defense.

JohnGalt23 on January 2, 2012 at 12:20 PM

After watching the constant stream of RT videos on Youtube, I find it very hard to trust their media. I trust their reporting just as much as I trust Al Jazeera.

iheart707 on January 2, 2012 at 12:25 PM

We will at a minimum be supporting Israel’s attack on Iran before the November elections. We may also be participating in a supposed humanitarian kinetic response to Syria’s breach of human rights, as part of Obama’s desire to ensure the spread of radical islam. Then, after the November election, win or lose, with the reelection hassle out of the way, Obama will begin his real work on destroying the United States. Obama will have either 2 months or 4 years and 2 months to get that job done.

GaltBlvnAtty on January 2, 2012 at 12:25 PM

I see the Ron Paul bots have invaded Hot Air. Too Bad!

Sparky5253 on January 2, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Medvedev and Putin sit around drinking vodka and making jokes about Obama and Clinton and dreaming up new outrageous demands for the next round of U.S./Russia negotiations.

You know it’s true.

SlaveDog on January 2, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Ron Paul is Russian?

vcferlita on January 2, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Russia’s last gasp of trying to remain relevant as they die from the inside. A wounded, dying bear.

What are their demographics and birth to death rate ratios…?

The real question is, how much damage can/will they inflict before they implode or are subsumed by another power.

Logus on January 2, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Medvedev and Putin sit around drinking vodka and making jokes about Obama and Clinton and dreaming up new outrageous demands for the next round of U.S./Russia negotiations.

You know it’s true.

SlaveDog on January 2, 2012 at 12:29 PM

The tragically sad part is, even Medvedev and Putin are having a very difficult time finding things that Obama isn’t willing to give them a blow job for the chance of agreeing to.

SWalker on January 2, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Russia is like a lepord that doesn’t change its spots.

lisa fox on January 2, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I see the Ron Paul bots have invaded Hot Air. Too Bad!

Sparky5253 on January 2, 2012 at 12:26 PM

LOL, tell us something we don’t know!

Del Dolemonte on January 2, 2012 at 12:39 PM

weakest administration evah!

D.Mockracy on January 2, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Ron Paul is Russian?

vcferlita on January 2, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Huh! Who knew?

Solaratov on January 2, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Russia’s last gasp of trying to remain relevant as they die from the inside. A wounded, dying bear.

What are their demographics and birth to death rate ratios…?

The real question is, how much damage can/will they inflict before they implode or are subsumed by another power.

Logus on January 2, 2012 at 12:32 PM

No. Actually it’s worse than that.

The ethnic Russians are being rapidly replaced by Islamics

WryTrvllr on January 2, 2012 at 12:42 PM

LOL, tell us something we don’t know!

Del Dolemonte on January 2, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Science has failed us, there is no anti-viral vaccination for batshit insanity…

SWalker on January 2, 2012 at 12:43 PM

After watching the constant stream of RT videos on Youtube, I find it very hard to trust their media. I trust their reporting just as much as I trust Al Jazeera.

iheart707 on January 2, 2012 at 12:25 PM

I’ve tapped into “Russia Today” from time to time just to hear what they’re reporting. At one point, I emailed them and told them as a kid back in the 50′s, I used to occasionally listen to Radio Moscow (the old Soviet Union propaganda short-wave radio service, for you young ‘uns). I asked if RT was any relation to RM. Recieved a very nice reply from a woman stating that yes, RT was the sucessor to RM. You are correct in presuming the RT is as factual as Al Jazeera. Neither of them are anything other than hard core propaganda vehicles for their respective ideologies.

But hey, The God/King sent the Smartest Woman on Planet Earth to placate the Rooskies. We all safe now!

oldleprechaun on January 2, 2012 at 12:45 PM

No one in Iran can cast a vote for Obama this fall. Consequently he has no interest in their political or military ambitions. He is much more worried about how he can get the illegal immigrant vote while skirting the Constitution.

Barry is all about Barry. Everything else is secondary, if not insignificant.

fogw on January 2, 2012 at 12:48 PM

No one in Iran can cast a vote for Obama this fall.

fogw on January 2, 2012 at 12:48 PM

The SEIU is working on that problem.

hoofhearted on January 2, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Russia, China, and North Korea are probably actively involved in the production of Iranian nuclear weapons.

Luckily we have a foreign policy to smart power stuff.

Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

CorporatePiggy on January 2, 2012 at 12:54 PM

I wonder if I need to build a fallout shelter close to my house with Faraday Cages around my electronics?

mixplix on January 2, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Russian Joke:

“What smell worse than Iransky Nuke Program?”

“Pile of poop in pastel pantsuit!”

spiritof61 on January 2, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Let’s see, the Russians have proof that there is NOT a nuclear weapons program. Congratulations, they have proven a negative. How illogical is that???

jake49 on January 2, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Reset…button (palm hits forehead)

ironbill on January 2, 2012 at 1:50 PM

But to Obama and Co., capitulation IS Smart Power. Just ask, they’ll tell you.

Yakko77 on January 2, 2012 at 1:53 PM

oldleprechaun on January 2, 2012 at 12:45 PM

RT = Pravda.

Yakko77 on January 2, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Logus on January 2, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Well, based on YT comments (yeah, I know, not exactly ultra reliable but a glimpse nonetheless) in videos regarding Russian firepower, lots of self proclaimed Russians on those videos are always going on about taking on the U.S./NATO. Even the old guard ex-KGB Russian leadership seems intent on sticking it to the West when they’re too short minded to realize that the common enemy of radical Islam is the real threat.

We should be fighting side by side with Russia but…

Yakko77 on January 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Iran’s longest range missile is ~3-4k kilometers with longer ranged missiles under development.

Distance between Caracas and Chicago ~4k kilometers.

Skandia Recluse on January 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Maybe we should just start building the missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic after all along the US Gulf coast.

Fixed.

iurockhead on January 2, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Give us the gate key.

I have no gate key.

Fezzik, slice his arms off.

Oh, you mean this gate key.

unclesmrgol on January 2, 2012 at 2:09 PM

The Cold War didn’t end with the removal of Checkpoint Charlie or the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. It merely changed theaters of operation. If you think the Soviet bear died, think again. It was merely in hibernation.

madmonkphotog on January 2, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Even the old guard ex-KGB Russian leadership seems intent on sticking it to the West when they’re too short minded to realize that the common enemy of radical Islam is the real threat.

We should be fighting side by side with Russia but…

Yakko77 on January 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Modern day Martin Luthers.

unclesmrgol on January 2, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Russia, China, and North Korea are probably actively involved in the production of Iranian nuclear weapons.

CorporatePiggy on January 2, 2012 at 12:54 PM

A fervently Islamic regime with nuclear weapons isn’t a good thing for Russia or for China. My guess is that they are simply smart enough to let Europe and the USA take the grief for actively opposing Iran.

Possibly the best thing the ‘west’ could do would be to stop caring and let the Iranians do whatever they want. Faced with the prospect of yet another nuclear armed neighbour supporting their local insurgents and Islamic activists, Russia and China might then decide to become a little more proactive.

YiZhangZhe on January 2, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Iran’s longest range missile is ~3-4k kilometers with longer ranged missiles under development.

Distance between Caracas and Chicago ~4k kilometers.

Skandia Recluse on January 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Maybe we should just start building the missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic Chicago, Miami, DC, New Orleans etc. after all.

fify

ArthurMachado on January 2, 2012 at 3:38 PM

That 2 am phone keeps ringing, and nobody is home, except some incompetent community organizer ……..

ultracon on January 2, 2012 at 3:46 PM

reset button overcharge button

Smart power. Maybe we should strike>just start building never have stopped the planned missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic after all in the first place.

God, this administration makes me want to puke.

hillbillyjim on January 2, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Well that HTML worked out great, huh?

Rats.

just start building

hillbillyjim on January 2, 2012 at 4:05 PM

How come this thread’s picture is of Hillary Clinton yukking it up with David Letterman?
Wha–? Oh. Nevermind.
:)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on January 2, 2012 at 4:31 PM

The Year We Lost Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia and Most of the Middle East

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/43608

Smart Power….esh

CoffeeLover on January 2, 2012 at 4:37 PM

I wonder if I need to build a fallout shelter close to my house with Faraday Cages around my electronics?

mixplix on January 2, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Until we have fully-functional SDI, I say that’s a darn good idea.

MelonCollie on January 2, 2012 at 6:04 PM

We foolishly helped Islamic maniacs kill Russians in Afghanistan.

I think Russia likes some payback.

But this game of supporting Islamic maniacs by them now will bite Russia back harder than us, since they’re surrounded by Islamic “republics”, resentful former subject countries, and their ideological opponent China.

But a mob-run kleptocracy doesn’t usually have much geopolitical foresight.

Look for a VERY deadly next few decades for all.

Until Islam is sent to the ash heap of History.

profitsbeard on January 2, 2012 at 6:24 PM

How far along could missile shield development be with all of that “stimulus” cash?

It boggles the mind.

hillbillyjim on January 2, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Russians drink too much vodka. If Iran does get “the bomb” I hope the first bomb they may use by used on Moscow.

SC.Charlie on January 2, 2012 at 6:32 PM

We have verified data showing that there is no reliable evidence…

Well, as long as they have verified data that they know nothing, I feel much better.

I also have verified data that when I close my eyes, I don’t see anything.

taznar on January 3, 2012 at 11:06 AM