Russia’s resolve to support sanctions against Iran will be sorely tested this week as the Islamic republic ratchets up the pressure over a nuclear fuel swap deal.
The two countries clashed last month over Russia’s support for a draft UN resolution imposing further sanctions on Tehran. In a statement. “If I were the Russian president,” President Ahmadinejad warned, “when making decisions about subjects related to a great nation…I would act more cautiously”.
The response from the Kremlin was as quick as it was robust, accusing the Iranian leader of “political demagoguery” and stating that Russia would act in its own people’s interest and not in those of America or Iran.
As I argued in a previous post, Russia, along with China, has been a critical factor in allowing Iran to avoid harsher international sanctions in the past. Using the threat of veto in the security council, they have forced the watering down of three previous attempts to punish Iran for flouting international law and UN resolutions on uranium enrichment.