Russian Politics Posing Test for U.S.

One day before debate in the United Nations Security Council talk about posing tighter sanctions on the Iranian nuclear program, and Russia is resorting to their old political tactics.

Leaders from Iran, Turkey and Russia met and had dialogue over international cooperation that caused frustrated the United States, who would rather impose very strict and tight sanctions versus the Russian idea that the sanctions should not be ‘excessive.’


“We’ve seen a lot of support from the international arena,” he said, according to the Turkey’s official Anatolian News Agency. “This is the voice of everyone’s heart.” Mr. Ahmadinejad also maintained a defiant posture toward the United States.

“If the U.S. and its allies think they could hold the stick of sanctions and then sit and negotiate with us, they are seriously mistaken,” he told a news conference, according to Iran’s state-run Press TV satellite broadcaster. European and American officials say the vote on sanctions could come as early as Wednesday.

Mr. Ahmadinejad said Iran would not repeat its recent offer to send part of its stockpile out of Iran for enrichment. The accord, supported by Brazil and Turkey, was designed to break the deadlock over its nuclear program, according to Iran.

While Ahmadinejad is correct in that he is receiving international support, it is mainly from one source: Russia and her puppets. Russia is very supportive of Iran, and they should be because they are a huge financial supporter for Iran and they are a source of intelligence for the technology needed as well.

“The Tehran declaration provided an opportunity for the United States government and its allies. We had hoped and we are still hopeful that they use the opportunity well,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said. “I must say opportunities like this will not be repeated again.”

He added: “We were thinking that the United States President Barack Obama would make certain changes in the United States policies. We don’t say that we are hopeless. We hope that he can actually get over the present conditions in the time that remains. We are ready for dialogue within the frame of justice and respect.”

The United States contends Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, while Iran argues its nuclear program is peaceful.

Mr. Putin, speaking at the conference, said sanctions should not be “excessive” but gave no details on whether Russia would change its mind on the vote. He called Iran’s nuclear program peaceful, a characterization with which Washington disagrees.

“I hold the opinion that this resolution should not be unnecessary, should not put Iran’s leadership or the Iranian people into difficulty,” Mr. Putin said.

But hasn’t Turkey been a long-time ally with the United States? Yes, but they have also been at the disposal of regional hyper-power Russia. And, while Russia has been resorting to its old ways of business, they have been helping give Turkey a voice of their own.

Turkey is seen increasingly in Washington as “running around the region doing things that are at cross-purposes to what the big powers in the region want,” said Steven A. Cook, a scholar with the Council on Foreign Relations. The question being asked, he said, is “How do we keep the Turks in their lane?”

From Turkey’s perspective, however, it is simply finding its footing in its own backyard, a troubled region that has been in turmoil for years, in part as a result of American policy making. Turkey has also been frustrated in its longstanding desire to join the European Union.

“The Americans, no matter what they say, cannot get used to a new world where regional powers want to have a say in regional and global politics,” said Soli Ozel, a professor of international relations at Bilgi University in Istanbul. “This is our neighborhood, and we don’t want trouble. The Americans create havoc, and we are left holding the bag.”

Turkey’s rise as a regional power may seem sudden, but it has been evolving for years, since the end of the cold war, when the world was a simple alignment of black and white and Turkey, a Muslim democracy founded in 1923, was a junior partner in the American camp.

Twenty years later, the map has been redrawn. Turkey is now a vibrant, competitive democracy with an economy that would rank as the sixth largest in Europe. Unlike Jordan and Egypt, which rely heavily on American aid, it is financially independent of the United States. And, paradoxically, its democracy has created some problems with Washington: Members of Mr. Erdogan’s own party defected in 2003, for example, voting not to allow the Americans to attack Iraq from Turkish territory.

The one thing to remember is that while regional power maps are being redrawn, Russia is holding the pen and orchestrating everything.

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