| JRL Home | JRL Simple/Mobile | RSS | Newswire | Archives | JRL Newsletter | Support | About
Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

Russian Pundits Comment On IAEA Report On Iran's Nuclear Programme

File Photo of Iranian Missile Launches
file photo
Moscow, 9 November: The publication of the IAEA report on Iran's nuclear programme creates tension in the Middle East region but will not affect dialogue between Tehran and the Group of Six (Russia, China, the USA, Great Britain, France and Germany), experts interviewed by RIA Novosti said on Wednesday (9 November). (Passage omitted: background) Boris Dolgov, senior researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, noted that "the publication of the IAEA report is an important event in the region and in global politics". "And, of course, the Russian Foreign Ministry's statement is fully justified in the sense that this report will create tension in the region," the expert added.

Dolgov recalled that before the publication of the IAEA's new report, it had been repeatedly described in Israel as evidence that "Iran is ready to produce nuclear weapons".

"This report, in general, has not yet confirmed 100 per cent that Iran is ready to produce nuclear weapons, although there are all sorts of details there," the expert said. However, according to him, the IAEA report "is a document based on which one can accuse Iran of preparing for the production of nuclear weapons".

Dolgov thinks that the report also "is a continuation of the policy of both Israel and, in many respects, the United States towards the suppression of the 'axis of evil', in which they include Iran in the first place". The expert thinks that "the appearance of the (IAEA) report and the whipping up of tensions around it, that we are now seeing, and threats against Iran" is a continuation of this policy.

He noted that another reason for the publication of the IAEA document could be Iran's support for participants in the 'Arab spring' revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa. "This factor prompted the forces that wanted to weaken Iran or change the regime in Iran to make sure that this (IAEA) report was published. Its goal is not to allow the unification of Iran's Islamic regime and Islamist movements among the ranks of those who are implementing the ideas of the 'Arab spring'," Dolgov added.

For his part, Yevgeniy Satanovskiy, the president of the Institute of Middle East and Israel Studies, does not share the optimism of the Russian Foreign Ministry that there are chances to resume dialogue between the Group of Six international mediators and Tehran.

"From my point of view, the Russian Foreign Ministry's optimism on issues related to Iran's nuclear programme is inappropriate. There is no optimism there. Iran is about to acquire nuclear weapons. This will create many problems for Russia," the expert said. At the same time, according to him, Russia will have more problems if it "joins the West in an energetic attack on Iran, having, unlike all the others, a common border with Iran on the Caspian Sea".

The analyst expressed his confidence that "there is no chance that the Group of Six will achieve any success in negotiations with Iran, there never was and never will be, by definition," he said. He thinks that "Iran will not curtail its nuclear programme and will not abandon its military component". "Iran will be misleading the Group of Six until God gives Iran nuclear weapons. After that, they could discuss with the Group of Six something else, for example the taste of Iranian caviar and pistachios, or the colour of Iranian carpets," Satanovskiy added.

At the same time, the expert noted that in his opinion "the IAEA report is incomplete, late, it only partially describes the current situation and only states the fact that Iran has not only made progress in developing a nuclear bomb but is about to acquire it". "For those who have been watching it, this was an open secret. But for the IAEA, which never misses a chance to fail, it is certainly a great achievement," Satanovskiy said ironically.

In his opinion, today the Middle East "is moving towards a large regional war (of the scale of the Second World War), a series of small wars, the collapse of the nonproliferation regime (which will happen in two to five years), the degradation and disintegration of a large number of countries, maybe countries of the size of Pakistan". Against this background, Yevgeniy Satanovskiy thinks, "the IAEA report is of course interesting for officials, bureaucrats, politicians and journalists. However, for the military, for those who actually make decisions and those who will fight, this is just another piece of paper".

(At 0731 gmt RIA Novosti quoted Sergey Demidenko, expert from the Institute for Strategic Studies and Analysis, as saying that the IAEA report was not likely to affect negotiations between Iran and the Group of Six "in any way". Demidenko said that in fact Iran could not build nuclear weapons but Iran, Israel and the United States were using the situation in their own interests.

Ivan Safranchuk, senior lecturer of the Moscow State International Relations Institute, told Ekho Moskvy Radio on the same day: "None of Iran's regional neighbours is interested in another nuclear power in the Middle East region. External players also consider that the Middle East region is already quite unstable. For example, the United States' position on the Iranian nuclear programme is quite alarmist, while Russia's and China's positions are more moderate. A more moderate position is that, most likely, Iran is actually doing some work on nuclear weapons, but its goal at present is not the creation of a bomb itself but the acquisition of the capability to create this bomb when it thinks it is necessary".

Another pundit, Vladimir Yevseyev, told Ekho Moskvy: "The goal of this report is to convince the international community that new sanctions are necessary against the Islamic Republic of Iran in connection with its nuclear programme. One cannot say that this report contains any new facts that were unknown. Simply, these facts were not published before in open mass media sources. It seems that now this is only about political pressure, and the question is posed as follows: either we will introduce sanctions against Iran, or Israel will launch a strike. I think this is provocation".)


Russia, Iran - Russian News - Russia - Johnson's Russia List

Bookmark and Share - Back to the Top -        


Bookmark and Share

- Back to the Top -        

  Follow Johnson's Russia List on Twitter Tweet