The Blog

Divided on war, united on sanctions

Posted on October 3, 2013 at 4:35 PM

The relationship between Washington and its main veto-holders' opponents - Moscow and Beijing - at the United Nations Security Council is quiet hallucinating. Putting it straight and simple, post USSR Russia and the "C" of the BRICS - meaning China - had long stood in support of the Ayatollah and Alawite regimes respectively in Iran and Syria against the West's so-called democratisation's campaign. Unfortunately, nothing is straight or simple when it comes to politics.

 

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the toppling of the Shah's ruling, Iran was struggling to impose itself as a major player in the Islamic World and the Middle East region. The late Ayatollah Khomeini's decision to launch the Uranium Enrichment Program in 1985 came within that line. Tehran may not be that enthusiastic - at least for the moment - in having the bomb, yet Sayyid Ali Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader, and the Revolutionary Guards are fully aware that going nuclear would be easily attainable once uranium is fairly enriched to serve civic purposes.

 

Neither Russia nor China are truly afraid from having a nuclear Iran right next door. In fact, Pakistan had initiated its nuclear program as early as January 20, 1979 and did, indeed, carried its first nuclear test on 28 May, 1998. Islamabad had refused so far signing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and continues to offer Taliban insurgents refuge in the tribal area of Waziristan, which is located northwest of the country. Such paradoxical situation did not trigger Russia, China or even USA concerns from the possibility of witnessing radical Islamic cells seizing nuclear warheads.

 

Despite the above mentioned setup in Far East Asia - not to forget that India is another nuclear power in the region, Russia and China had always expressed flexibility when it comes to voting "Yes" on further economic sanctions against Tehran in response to the latter's objection on compromising its uranium enrichment program. Every time additional sanctions loom in the horizon, Moscow and Beijing echo their support for the right of the Iranian people to own advanced technologies. Weeks later, articles, unveiling secret talks between the West and the tagged two states, mushroom on various newspapers. And, a unanimous "Yes" vote concludes the United Nations Security Council's session on sanctions.

 

Iran's nuclear case was serving Russia and China pretty good. On one hand, the international community doesn't mind offering both Mr. Putin and Mr. Xi Jinping economic concessions, in case deemed necessary, in order to guarantee that a designated sanctions' resolution against Iran passes smoothly. On the other hand, economic sanctions are getting Sayyid Khamenei farer from embracing the international community's demands and closer to the bear and dragon's dominion. As the world is shutting its doors facing Iranian products and services, China and Russia - in addition to Shiistan Iraq - stand as the only receivable market willing to cash in.

 

Apparently, the Iranian scenario was promoted, few weeks ago, to become a prototype in decrypting the diplomatic ties between the West - mostly Washington - and the East - meaning Russia and China. When American President, Barack Obama, waved the possibility of striking military targets in Syria, Russia and China stood on the way and warned from the unbearable consequences of such "reckless move". Of course, one of the main reasons behind Mr. Bashar Al-Assad's survival in power in Damascus relies on Russian and Chinese vetoes against military intervention to put an end to the Syrian crisis.

 

Still, neither Mr. Putin nor Mr. Jinping stuck to their guns when the international community waved with new economic sanctions this time. Against all odds, both both above mentioned presidents did not only agree on the bill but went a step further via a Muscovite warning about Damascus' sincerity regarding allowing the United Nations to confiscate its arsenal of chemical weapons.

 

As the international community decided to adopt Russia's initiative regarding Syria's arsenal of chemical weapons, the East had achieved a tripartite earning: concessions by the international community, economic control of Syrian products and services, and an eminent role - we call it a breakthrough - in the Middle East area.


Categories: Strictly for Arabs

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