War is Peace - Freedom is Slavery - Ignorance is Strength

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Russian Posturing on Iran a Win-Win

The Washington Post is reporting that Russia has agreed not to block a referral of Iran to the U.N. Security Council by the IAEA.

Russia Won't Block U.S. on Iran

Additionally, Reuters reports that EU powers to set stage for U.N. sanctions on Iran. The article states that in response to the Iranian uncertainty oil prices shot up more than a dollar per barrel.

With respect to the larger dispute on Iran I certainly can't figure out what the play is, and I'm not sure who can, but in regards to Russia's sudden supplication to the western will, their motivation is starkly obvious self interest.

Let's see:

Russia and Iran are both major suppliers and major prospective suppliers of oil to China.

Many people believe that China will veto any security council resolution against Iran in order to protect their investments there. This would allow Russia to keep selling their nuclear hardware and expertise to Iran, while letting China take the heat for vetoing a major U.S. proposal.

What if China didn't veto? Russia would still win, because they would gain an even more important position as a supplier of oil to China.

In the end Russia gets what they want, no matter how it plays out in the security council. In the meantime, Russia exports 7 million barrels of oil a day, so let's hope the prices stay up and that the wheels of bureaucracy grind slow indeed.

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