Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Growing Tensions in Iran-Russia Relations

In unusually strong criticism of Russia, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today warned his Russian counterpart to be more cautious in dealing with Iran.

“If I were the Russian president, when making decisions about subjects related to the great nation (of Iran), I would act more cautiously, said Ahmadinejad during a live TV broadcast in Tehran [IRIB, 26 May].

Admadinejad added that Russian support for the US over Iran’s nuclear program was “unacceptable” and that Moscow should rethink its decision or face “being viewed as an enemy by Iran.”

Later in the day, Russia’s national security advisor Sergei Prikhodko issued a statement in Kremlin dismissing Ahmadinejad’s criticism, telling him to refrain from “political demagoguery.”

"No one has ever managed to preserve one's authority with political demagoguery. I am convinced, the thousand-year history of Iran itself is evidence of this," Sergei Prikhodko said in the statement issued by the Kremlin.

"The Russian Federation is governed by its own long-term state interests. Our position is Russian: it reflects the interests of all the peoples of greater Russia and so it can be neither pro-American nor pro-Iranian," Prikhodko said [Reuters, 26 May].

Prikhodko also criticized Iran for its failure to allay fears about its nuclear program.

“Any unpredictability, any political extremism, lack of transparency or inconsistency in taking decisions that affect and concern the entire world community is unacceptable to us,” he said.

“It would be good if those who are now speaking in the name of the wise people of Iran would remember this,” Prikhodko added.

Ahmadinejad’s tirade against the Russian president and Kremlin’s rapid and public rebuke of Ahmadinejad were unprecedented in modern Russo-Iranian relationship.

Reuters quoted Pyotr Goncharov, a Russian specialist on the region, as saying that Moscow has repeatedly saved Iran from tough sanctions, and Ahmadinejad’s defiance is “out of place.”

"It is simply the latest attempt by the Iranian president to lay the blame for his own problems at someone else's door," Goncharov added.


Anonymous said...

I have a feeling its all "Jang e Zargari" to preoccupy the USA

the art of war says.. let your enemies commit their mistakes ;)... help them get there and then watch them hit the wall...

like the issue with the trio deal and the declaration of Fardoo..

I say bless Iran and stay cool.. let the dice role

shahin said...

Russians should never be trusted .

Anonymous said...

If Russians did not have nukes they would be a province of Iran. They are in total decline of all fronts, they lose a million Slavic men to vodka and abuse every year. Since the fall of the USSR, Zionists have gained a strong toehold in Russia, particulrly amongst the government and the corrupt oilgarchs. Russian president Medvedev himself has a Jewish mother and is under strong Zionist influence. Chinese are steadily encroaching on the sparsely populated but resource rich far east, the Muslims in the Caucasus and Tatarstan want no part in the failing "Russsian Federation" and Russia's economy is staganating with a nominal PPP-GDP lower than Iran's. Russia should be careful not to antagonize too many neighbours.

Paul said...

I heartily suggest the following comment by Anonymous as the joke of the decade:

"If Russians did not have nukes they would be a province of Iran."

It's amazing how many cuckoo heads frequent the comments section of this otherwise wonderful blog here.

Nader Uskowi said...

Ahmadinejad is increasingly becoming a major liability for the Islamic Republic. This blogger has followed international politics for many long years, but Kremlin's public rebuke of a sitting president, the way they belittled Ahmadinejad today, is unprecedented. This is a dark day in Iranian diplomacy. The Russians were careful not offending the Iranian nation by distancing Ahmadinejad from a proud thousands-year history of Iran. It is high time for the senior leadership of the Islamic Republic to dump Ahmadinejad; such move is a required course of action to protect the best interests of the Islamic Republic, if not those of the Iranian nation.

Paul said...

I agree with Nader about dumping Mahmoud, but then what would we do with the mini-Mahmouds commenting on the postings here!? :) Honest to God when I read some of these comments it's as if they came directly from the El Presidente's mouth! So amusing ... is there an Ahmadinejad Fan Club? There should be.

Alborz said...

as the Times Magazin correctly mentioned.
The Tehran conference with Barzil/Turkey, was astep back from Russia anda closer lliance to turkey.

Anonymous said...

Have a little faith ladies & gentlemen, anon #1 has a point.if Russians want to be seen as such unreliable business partners then what chances do they think they might have by others, the others are not blind you know.
Iran had no choice a decade ago but now its a different world.
Ahmadi is a jerk no doubt but he is our little Jerk and he does not suck up for anything.
give him the 3 years left and then lets see what happens.
after all judging the last 30 years, Iran has achieved a lot considering the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Really Nader? Then you must have a real short memory if you don't remember the then Russian President Putin, not some official, verbally tearing the hide off Bush and the US. Now Medvedev is making nice with Obama while Putin hangs in the background taking none of the blame for the deterioration in Iran Russian relations.
It's easy to insult Ahmadinejad, but what other Iranian politician would have done a better job? He has united Syria, Turkey, and Brazil, no small feat BTW, he has made the Russians sensitive to the charge of being pro-US, why did the official take pains to separate the "Iranian people" in his statement? A popular Western ploy of divide and rule, as in,"If only the Palestinian people had a more democratic govt instead of Arafat", and when they do what happens?
Do not make the mistake of thinking the West loves the "people" but they hate the "government".
In my opinion Iran has made all the right moves, and Ahmadinejad was right in calling out Russian duplicity, it's laughable for the Russians to accuse anybody of demagoguery with the system and personalities they have. Surely if the Russians can be "pro-Russian" Iran can be "pro-Iranian" too.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the sentiments that situation is terrible and it is Iran's own making.

It is really sad that after so many thousand of years this pioneering nation is left to rely on Russia and China to defend her interests. Obviously if one wants to learn how to make friends and influence people, then the best bet is to take lessons from Ahmadinejad!

I mean the guy is an embarrassment. Sadly if we look around, Iran has no credible friend to speak of. At this juncture it begs the question how many influential friends does Iran have. Excluding Syria, Venezuela, North Korea, Zimbabwe and to a lesser degree Brazil and Turkey, who sides with Iran? To the west of Turkey among European nations who has come out in support of Iran?

Realistically these confrontational policies (walking through the wall as opposed to using the door) have caused Iran a lot. It seems that the priority is winning every single battle (at any cost) and losing the war. The rhetoric may sound impressive in the streets but it does not do Iran any good! If you are relying (IMO wrongly) on Russia to help you, then you cannot have a go at them. It is hard to swallow, but beggars cannot be choosers.

Persicus Maximus said...

With Russia as Friend, who needs enemies

Anonymous said...

Top level public pushback against Russia has been a long time coming, given the foot dragging over Bushehr and the S-300. Certainly the Russians could have adopted a more objective approach to the swap deal and the Tehran declaration, more in line with China. But they didn't.

Now that Iran has significant allies in the form of Brazil and Turkey, it can assume a more active posture, in the face of Russian intransigence and policies offensive to its nuclear rights under the NPT.

Surely these are better days for Iran no longer having to rely on the fickleness of the Rus. And President Ahmadinejad was merely stating the obvious. Looks like it struck a nerve, too.

Anonymous said...

Recently, President Ahmadinejad's foreign policy moves have been outstanding. The Tehran nuclear conference, his speech at the NPT conference at the UN, and Tehran Declaration represent a string of diplomatic successes for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Gaining Turkey and Brazil as allies and defenders of Iran's nuclear rights under the NPT is a masterstroke.

Sure, it remains a diplomatic mismatch opposing US hegemony. But President Ahmadinejad has never flinched in his devotion to the resistance.

Anonymous said...

Russia has always been an unreliable "friend" to all in the Middle-East historically. Duplicitious Russian history with the Arabs is well documented along with selling them junk weaponry and then abandoning them in wars.

Russian military "history" has been well articulated by their defeat in Afghanistan and the unraveling of the USSR. Most of Caucasus and Central Asia were parts of Iran or Turkey anyway and incorporated by the czars and USSR by force. Russia's history with Iran or the Muslim world in general has been that of deceit and double dealing. Iran should not be surprised at Russia's recent wobbling and backstabbing.

Russia was the major weapons supplier to Saddam and almost all of the 2500 T54/55/62 and T72 tanks that invaded Iran on Sepetember 22, 1980 were made in USSR along with the BMP's and 90% of Iraqi airforce from the MIG 21 and 23BM to SU 20. Russia even continued upgrading Saddam's weaponry throughout the war with even more sophisticated aircraft including MIG 25, TU 22 and SCUD B/D missiles. So Russia has never been a "friend" to Iran. It is unfortunate that Iran has not played its diplomatic hand astutely and has had to turn to Russia for support.

Russia's "thousand" year relations with all its neighbors from Poland to China has been fraught with conflict, double-dealing and hyprocricy. Hilter's invasion of Poland is a case in point and the Katyn massacre the highlight of Russian "diplomacy" and "good neighbourly realtions" with Europe.

As far some of the comments on Iran "dumping" Ahmadinejad, that is not going to happen as most people misread the real internal political dynamics and diffused power-centres in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This smoke and mirrors approach of the leadership is sometimes intentional. Many of Ahmadinejad's inflammatory statements are merely for impact on both domestic and global audiences. The political situation in Iran is very complex and should be read with caution. Ahmadinejad is not about to disappear anytime soon, neither is the Islamic Republic.

Anonymous said...

Analysts: West-forsaken Georgia boosts ties with Iran, Turkey to counter Russian influence.

TBILISI - Nervous about being forgotten by the West almost two years after its war with Russia, Georgia is boosting ties with Iran and Turkey to counter Moscow's influence in the Caucasus, analysts say.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a top Iranian diplomat have both visited Georgia over the last 10 days as Tbilisi seeks to revive its relations with the historic powers in the Black Sea and Caucasus region.

Georgia's pro-Western government was backed by former US president George W. Bush in its conflicts with Russia.

But some analysts have detected a decline in interest under President Barack Obama, who has tried to "reset" US ties with Russia which plunged to a post-Cold War low after Moscow's August 2008 war with Georgia.

"Amid declining attention from the United States and Europe towards Georgia, Tbilisi has no choice but to seek active engagement with two emerging powers, Turkey and Iran," said the chairman of the Tbilisi-based Institute of Strategy and Development, Andro Barnov.

"Otherwise, Tbilisi risks being left face-to-face with Russia, which is determined to reassert control over its former Soviet backyard."

US Senator and former Republican presidential candidate John McCain -- a consistently impassioned supporter of Georgia -- last week criticised Obama showing less attention to Georgia.

"Georgians feel that Washington is selling them out to Moscow at the price of our ‘hitting the reset button’," McCain told a conference at the Nixon Centre, according to the prepared remarks posted on his website.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one of Washington's main global foes, would seem the least suitable partner for Georgia's fervently pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Anonymous said...

berezinski always wanted to play Russia and Iran out against each other

Mark Pyruz said...

Excerpt from Tabnak:
Ahmadinejad, speaking in the city of Kerman, said that Iran and Russia had been friends for centuries. He addressed Dimitry Medvedev, president of the Russian Federation, saying that there was some danger if Russia continued on its present path that Iranians would switch, and begin considering Russia a historical enemy. He added, “We are both neighbors, and two neighbors cannot but be friends with one another. But this friendship has prerequisites. The first prerequisite is honoring reciprocal rights, and defense of them, and mutual respect.”

He continued, “Today, explaining the behavior of Medvedev toward the nation of Iran is very difficult for us . . . The people of Iran do not know if the Russians are our friends or are against us.” He advised President Medvedev to speak with more caution and forethought about such a large and capable nation as Iran.

“We must not perceive that our neighbor, on sensitive positions, has taken the side of those [the United States] who have for 30 years with all their might acted with enmity toward the nation of Iran . . . This matter is unacceptable. The Tehran Declaration is the greatest opportunity and there is no longer any pretext.” He said that if, before, the Russians could say that the West was putting pressure and wanted to see Iran take some significant step and make an important announcement, well, it had now done so.

He said, “We are also under pressure. But can we, just because of that pressure, act against the Russian nation?”

He warned, “They must not permit the Iranian nation to begin considering them as being on the level of historical enemies.”

Anonymous said...

This seems remarkably similar to the "with us or against us" childhood playground mindset of Bush and company.

The there are no friends in international relations, only mutual interests.

Anonymous said...

i disgree with nader because last week i did told in my believed ahmadinajad will excuded his final talk that is russian reqard too. he did exact time in political level that mean your not emportant any longer mind your busniss theirefore i believe nam will need to form unsc as soon as possible one of that will be no longer require 5+1 as pemmenant they should be as like term level such as 5 years and if vote again for second term that way alway new memmber will be on the seat available he will comming soon in unsc by pointing this level of change other wise all nam country will go to be nuclear power in short time.

Anonymous said...

If I were a third party observing Russia and Iran or others for that matter..... I would hesitate and think twice before I commit myself in a business relationship with the Russians.

They shift and drag and change the rules in the middle of the game and do not shy away from shooting their partners if the deal turns difficult... very much like the Russian Mafia in their own society.

Iran better look for more honorable partners in the future and the World is advised to let the Russians learn the hard way what "honor" and "commitment" for important factors are.

Bless Iran and I am sure God is with Iran. All will turn out to be in Irans benefit, wait and see...don't know how but its somehow a mystery :)

Nahid from Hamburg

Anonymous said...

Iran is nuclear and doesn´t mind what action take the west or what is doing Russia.

Russia has more to lose than Iran,if they don´t support Iranian policies.

As a islamic nuclear neigbourn,Russia would be wrong,if play with iranian and betray them.

Russia must grow and live in the real world,for begining they must to act to missiles shield in Poland by americans,they must realize that his stupid appeasment don´t get good results for them.

They must know at the end only russia will lose if betray the only friendly neighbourn they have.

Anonymous said...

remmber that iran gain huge international respect of world order idea and unification dispite of usa and russian try to colonized one nation to others that is main objection between iran and this two country which ahmadinijad directly indicate will no be rule by any one we will direct intire world in form of unification to face for justice that is at this time in the middle of action theirfore the more succefull they gain is natural have more hostile respond from west and russian iran doesnot require to be get the size because it is country has huge resources of idea to cordinate intire world to face in right direction that is natural for many country to follow iran leadership for better and secure form in the future and russian had the chances to gain the ground but blowe it away to fast an internation political game theirfore it may gain back by next vote to veto last un section.