Retaliation and escalation: Oh, by the way, we might change our position on Iran now, says Russia

posted at 6:01 pm on March 19, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Earlier this week, officials and diplomats apparently emerged from the latest round of nuclear-drawdown talks between Iran and six world powers — the United States, Germany, China, France, Britain, and Russia — without having made much progress beyond agreeing to meet again in April, but cautiously optimistic that Russia’s aggression with Ukraine wasn’t doing anything to undermine the discussions.

That was yesterday. Then this happened.

Russia may revise its stance in the Iranian nuclear talks amid tensions with the West over Ukraine, a senior diplomat warned Wednesday. …

Russia has cooperated with the United States and other Western nations in the Iranian talks, but [Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei] Ryabkov warned that its attitude may now change.

“We wouldn’t like to use these talks as an element of the game of raising the stakes taking into account the sentiments in some European capitals, Brussels and Washington,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Interfax. “But if they force us into that, we will take retaliatory measures here as well. The historic importance of what happened in the last weeks and days regarding the restoration of historical justice and reunification of Crimea with Russia is incomparable to what we are dealing with in the Iranian issue.”

How nice. I don’t know who is honestly expecting much from these Iranian deal-making sessions (beyond giving Iran the opportunity to stall and bloviate while they receive their sought-after sanctions relief, of course), but one gets the feeling that Russia is ready to start being deliberately unhelpful, no?

“If President Putin goes ahead with his apparent intention to annex Crimea, we’re going to have to sanction Russia, and they are going to have to retaliate, and it’s really going to screw up the P5-plus-one negotiations with Iran,” said Gary Samore, a former senior aide on nonproliferation on the National Security Council in President Obama’s first term. He is now executive director for research at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, as well as the president of United Against Nuclear Iran, a group that advocates strong sanctions against Iran until the nuclear dispute is resolved.

“The problem will be that Iran will feel much less pressured to make any concessions if they think the P5-plus-one are squabbling,” Mr. Samore said. “The Iranians will be watching and waiting; they are not inclined to make any concessions anyway, but they are going to be less inclined until there is a resolution” of the situation in Ukraine.


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Oh yea!
Another chance for King Putt to demonstrate his flexibility.

dentarthurdent on March 19, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Iran will be the new Cuban Missile crisis….
I am sure a Russian ship with nukes is headed to Iran.

Then what will Obama do when Israel lites up Teheran with a nuke?

I know what Putin would do.

redguy on March 19, 2014 at 6:06 PM

No worries, just hit that Reset button.

parke on March 19, 2014 at 6:06 PM

estonia next?
http://tinyurl.com/oesfptl

dmacleo on March 19, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Point of order – other than actually giving the Iranians live nuclear warheads, what really can Russia do differently than what it has done thus far that would be opposed to what the West wants?

Steve Eggleston on March 19, 2014 at 6:07 PM

I’m too old to learn to speak Russian.

myiq2xu on March 19, 2014 at 6:08 PM

I’m pretty sure his eyes are rolling back up into his head in that shot.

avagreen on March 19, 2014 at 6:12 PM

If Iran and America are smart they will get their stupid rivalry behind them. Iran should not allow itself to be used as bargaining chip or chess pawn in anyone game. Their civilization is older than the Russian. They don’t need this crap.

I don’t agree with McCain on anything, but I think he summarized it best when he said that Russia is a gas station masquerading as nation. America needs to start removing those pawn off the chess board. Iran, Cuba are prime for picking. Russia is only relevant because we allow them to be.

coolrepublica on March 19, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Let’s see….

Russia invades territory of a sovereign nation…and Obama sputters.

Russia annexes the territory of a sovereign nation after a classic fraudulent ‘election’….and Obama sanctions 8 minor Russian officials.

Russia masses troops on the border of the Eastern Ukraine, seeking to obtain a land bridge to their newly annexed territory….and Obama sends Biden to Biden-his-way through Poland in an effort to make Poland feel supported by the nation that unilaterally terminated the missile defense base in Poland because Russia looked at them with crossed eyes.

Now Russia is saying that in response to the ‘sanctions’ from Barack Obama, they will look towards further enabling the nuclear ambitions that they have enabled in Iran for the last decade with the approval of the DNC.

Oh, and I read that Russia is working on facilitating issuing RUSSIAN passports to ethnic Russians in the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) in an order to ‘protect their rights’.

Meanwhile, NATO looks to Obama, and Obama is busy trying to fudge the Obamacare enrollment numbers to declare a win at the end of this month. But the Baltic states are to be reassured that the need for US support is seared in the mind of the US Sec State, just like his Xmas visit to Cambodia was seared in his mind.

Bottom line – we, Eastern Europe, and to a large extent Western Europe, are Fuc*ed by this feckless Administration.

Athos on March 19, 2014 at 6:14 PM

I’ll ask the question I asked earlier.

WHERE THE HELL IS JOHN KERRY? You know, there just might be something the Secretary of State should be doing this week other than getting the yacht ready for the season (that suggestion from another HA poster).

Obama is too busy with March Madness to deal with Russia, though he did come out and comment on the most pressing issue of the week- the 12-day-old disappearance of that Boeing 777.

Killary has said she hopes that Putin doesn’t start a new cold war. As you constantly screeched sweetie, hope is not a plan. And you were the one cackling at your own incompetence when you presented that overcharge button.

BUT WHERE IN THE HELL IS JOHN KERRY?

Happy Nomad on March 19, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Good. Iran wasn’t going to back away from acquiring a nuclear weapon anyway.

Now, let’s rescind New START and change our position on the promised missile shield for Poland and the Czech Republic.

Resist We Much on March 19, 2014 at 6:19 PM

estonia next?
http://tinyurl.com/oesfptl

dmacleo on March 19, 2014 at 6:06 PM

AP can’t wait for another war to start. Might be even more motivated than McCain and the rest of the neocons. And Oblummer’s ratings will go way up!

LaughterJones on March 19, 2014 at 6:19 PM

If Iran and America are smart they will get their stupid rivalry behind them. Iran should not allow itself to be used as bargaining chip or chess pawn in anyone game. Their civilization is older than the Russian. They don’t need this crap.

coolrepublica on March 19, 2014 at 6:13 PM

I’m not sure why you think Iran would “get smart” or quit a “rivalry” with us. The country’s leaders are a bunch of religious fanatics who have IDed the US and Israel as the Great and Little Satan. The country is a theocracy run by madmen almost as bad as Kim Jong Un, and is often held up as an example by the left of what the “religious right” plans for America. The US has spent years and multiple administrations trying to come to some kind of accord with Iran.

Much like Russia, the people running that country only understand violence, and right now Russia looks very strong and the US looks very weak and impotent.

Doomberg on March 19, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Damn, did I call it or what? They were dragged into that position, why would they keep it? It was basically a give me that they would drop that ball!

astonerii on March 19, 2014 at 6:23 PM

BUT WHERE IN THE HELL IS JOHN KERRY?

Happy Nomad on March 19, 2014 at 6:14 PM

He`s too busy yelling at the weather.

ThePrez on March 19, 2014 at 6:23 PM

LaughterJones on March 19, 2014 at 6:19 PM

not sure what you mean by AP, the press or allahpundit?

dmacleo on March 19, 2014 at 6:23 PM

It was idiotic of the world to give the USSR a seat on the UN Security Council.

It was idiotic of the world to allow Russia to occupy the USSR’s seat. Russia is not the USSR.

itsnotaboutme on March 19, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Doomberg on March 19, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Very true.
Too bad the budding revolution in Iran was sapped of its strength when President Obama refused to offer any moral support or affirmation.

itsnotaboutme on March 19, 2014 at 6:28 PM

I do not understand why Russia is helping Iran gain nuclear weapons. After all the problems that they have had with the muslims in their own country.

Kaffa on March 19, 2014 at 6:30 PM

He`s too busy yelling at the weather.

ThePrez on March 19, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Could be. I just get the sense that he’ll wander into his office at Foggy Bottom next Monday and ask if anything is going on.

Happy Nomad on March 19, 2014 at 6:31 PM

…I sure am glad that JugEars had time to do the presidential basketball brackets on TV though!

KOOLAID2 on March 19, 2014 at 6:33 PM

BUT WHERE IN THE HELL IS JOHN KERRY?

Happy Nomad on March 19, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Busy yelling at the Israelis to quit asaking for recogniziton as a “Jewish state” and to make “peace” with the PLO.

Wethal on March 19, 2014 at 6:34 PM

This administration has so bungled our foreign policy, it staggers the mind. They walked right into this.

BKeyser on March 19, 2014 at 6:36 PM

@itsnotabout me. Russia did not a permanent seat in the UN because they we’re user.me they got a seat because they got nuclear weapons. All the permanent members do. France, uk, China, Russia USA. Germany the largest economy in Europe doesn’t have one, Japan the second largest economy doesn’t have one, but France does. Yep nuclear weapons buys you a voice at the table. A country not seeking one is either a saint country, a poor country or a stupid country.

coolrepublica on March 19, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Oh, by the way, we might change our position on Iran now, says Russia

What? You mean you might stop running interference for them at the UN? You might stop helping them avoid the sanctions? That would be a relief!

What a bunch of BS!!!!!!

Blaise on March 19, 2014 at 6:37 PM

coolrepublica on March 19, 2014 at 6:13 PM

This would take a qualified president. Check back in again in 3 years when America’s Azz Pimple is out of office. If we make it that long.

Key West Reader on March 19, 2014 at 6:38 PM

obama’s got nothin’, and Putin knows it.

GaltBlvnAtty on March 19, 2014 at 6:41 PM

BUT WHERE IN THE HELL IS JOHN KERRY?

Happy Nomad on March 19, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Telling the President of Uganda that he is wrong about Teh Gheys and should embrace SSM. In fact, he is so concerned about this serious international issue that he is sending ‘our experts’ over to meet President Museveni.

“I talked personally to President Museveni just a few weeks ago, and he committed to meet with some of our experts so that we could engage him in a dialogue as to why what he did could not be based on any kind of science or fact, which is what he was alleging,” Kerry said during a University Town Hall meeting at the U.S. Department of State. “He welcomed that and said that he was happy to receive them and we can engage in that kind of conversation… maybe we can reach a point of reconsideration.”

Huff Post: John Kerry To Send Homosexuality ‘Experts’ To Tackle Uganda Anti-Gay Law

(scare quotes are Huff Po’s)

Resist We Much on March 19, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Putin is doing us a favor. PBHO and Horseface were heading us towards as lousy deal with Iran. Scuttling the talks is only to our benefit. Thank you Vlad!

MJBrutus on March 19, 2014 at 6:43 PM

itsnotaboutme on March 19, 2014 at 6:25 PM

coolrepublica on March 19, 2014 at 6:36 PM

The Security Council consists of fifteen members. The great powers that were the victors of World War II—China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US—serve as the body’s five permanent members.

The winners make the rules.

Kaffa on March 19, 2014 at 6:44 PM

BUT WHERE IN THE HELL IS JOHN KERRY?

Happy Nomad on March 19, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Probably in Israel twisting Bibi’s arm in accordance with the Proggies’s deepest held belief: forcing Israel back to the suicide borders of pre-’67 and unconditionally allowing the “Right to Return” will instantly bring peace, love and harmony to the entire world. The very moment the Jews agree to their own genocide, every war in the world, every bit of injustice in the world, every bit of anything negative in the world will instantly vanish and unicorns and rainbows will fill every one with brotherly love and contentment. So if Kerry can get Bibi’s signature on the dotted line, Putin will immediately drop all his territorial designs and retreat behind his own borders.

catsandbooks on March 19, 2014 at 6:45 PM

I do not understand why Russia is helping Iran gain nuclear weapons. After all the problems that they have had with the muslims in their own country.

Kaffa on March 19, 2014 at 6:30 PM

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” That’s why.

Key West Reader on March 19, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Bottom line – we, Eastern Europe, and to a large extent Western Europe, are Fuc*ed by this feckless Administration.

Athos on March 19, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Bammy did promise the Russians he’d be flexible in his second term. This must his flexibility in action.

hawkeye54 on March 19, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Telling the President of Uganda that he is wrong about Teh Gheys and should embrace SSM. In fact, he is so concerned about this serious international issue that he is sending ‘our experts’ over to meet President Museveni.

Fuggedabout Russia and Iran. If Uganda resists and fails to heed “our experts”, it could really mean war.

/SNARK

hawkeye54 on March 19, 2014 at 6:53 PM

The pressure is on and The One will succumb, yet, again. Putin is putting pressure on in so many areas at the same time, that Obamarama will over load to the extent that he may have to skip a round of golf and suck both thumbs at the same time…

vnvet on March 19, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Gosh, this “smart power” is winning us all sorts of benefits isn’t it?

/sarc

rbj on March 19, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Gosh, this “smart power” is winning us all sorts of benefits isn’t it?

Just doin’ what its meant to do. Ruin us.

hawkeye54 on March 19, 2014 at 7:14 PM


Guess who is giving Libya that oil tanker that the US Navy just seized?

Barack Obama, that’s who.

/And if you don’t like the fact that he just gave Libya a tanker that our men and women seized? Then let me tell you something. You is a Racisssssst.

/Perplexing, eh?

Key West Reader on March 19, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Oh!~ And guess who just told Putin that he would stand down and bow to his desires?

Barack Obama, that’s who.

/And if you don’t like the fact that he just gave Libya a tanker that our men and women seized? Then let me tell you something. You is a Racisssssst.

/Perplexing, eh?

Key West Reader on March 19, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Guess who just openly and brazenly politicized the EPA – which will disclose data to Dems but not R’s?

Barack Obama, that’s who.

/And if you don’t like the fact that he just gave Libya a tanker that our men and women seized? Then let me tell you something. You is a Racisssssst.

/Perplexing, eh?

Key West Reader on March 19, 2014 at 7:26 PM

A little less on the missing plane and Obamaphones, HA.

Key West Reader on March 19, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Putin Hints At “Liberating” Ethnic Russians In Estonia…

(Reuters) — Russia signaled concern on Wednesday at Estonia’s treatment of its large ethnic Russian minority, comparing language policy in the Baltic state with what it said was a call in Ukraine to prevent the use of Russian.

Russia has defended its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula by arguing it has the right to protect Russian-speakers outside its borders, so the reference to linguistic tensions in another former Soviet republic comes at a highly sensitive moment.

Russia fully supported the protection of the rights of linguistic minorities, a Moscow diplomat told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, according to a summary of the session issued by the U.N.’s information department.

“Language should not be used to segregate and isolate groups,” the diplomat was reported as saying. Russia was “concerned by steps taken in this regard in Estonia as well as in Ukraine,” the Moscow envoy was said to have added.

The text of the Russian remarks, echoing long-standing complaints over Estonia’s insistence that the large Russian minority in the east of the country should be able to speak Estonian, was not immediately available.

But amid the growing Crimea crisis, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – which like Ukraine were all parts of the old Soviet Union – have expressed growing apprehension over Moscow’s intentions.

Resist We Much on March 19, 2014 at 7:28 PM

Russia has defended its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula by arguing it has the right to protect Russian-speakers outside its borders,
Resist We Much on March 19, 2014 at 7:28 PM

Simple so;ution – if you’re worried about your Russian speakers, bring them back to Russia. I doubt the Baltic states would mind.

8 weight on March 19, 2014 at 7:44 PM

This thought comes to mind.

The Yeti, the Yeti’s mother, and the worthless brats are on a million dollar taxpayer-paid vacation to China. What do you suppose the chances are that the rat-eared wonder is chain smoking, eating real food, and watching porn every night?

Happy Nomad on March 19, 2014 at 7:57 PM

This thought comes to mind.

The Yeti, the Yeti’s mother, and the worthless brats are on a million dollar taxpayer-paid vacation to China. What do you suppose the chances are that the rat-eared wonder is chain smoking, eating real food, and watching porn every night?

Happy Nomad on March 19, 2014 at 7:57 PM

ghey porn…

jimver on March 19, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Obmama and Putin: Two narcissists both thinking they are the center of the world.

albill on March 19, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Point of order – other than actually giving the Iranians live nuclear warheads, what really can Russia do differently than what it has done thus far that would be opposed to what the West wants?

Steve Eggleston on March 19, 2014 at 6:07 PM

This comment could replace the article and we would be the better for it.

VorDaj on March 19, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Damn. My girlfriend’s balls are bigger than Obama’s.

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 8:31 PM

sanctions

That word is becoming one of those uninspected non-words.

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Smart power.

Oh, and “we won”.

KMC1 on March 20, 2014 at 12:32 AM

“…but one gets the feeling that Russia is ready to start being deliberately unhelpful, no?”

Yes, very much.

It has been a big mistake to put Crimea in a Cold War context. Russia was not in that frame of mind.

But it is now.

This is going to be trouble, and Iran is the least of it. A serious Chinese-Russian alliance is much more possible now.

David Blue on March 20, 2014 at 12:35 AM

Yep nuclear weapons buys you a voice at the table. A country not seeking one is either a saint country, a poor country or a stupid country.

coolrepublica on March 19, 2014 at 6:36 PM

What about India, Pakistan and North Korea… who are known for having nuclear weapons?

What about Israel… who is believed to have nuclear weapons?

What about Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Turkey… who have shared nuclear weapons with NATO?

What about Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, South Africa… who used to have nuclear weapons?

As someone else pointed out, the members were the victors of WWII. And they got to make the rules.

dominigan on March 20, 2014 at 9:51 AM