Tensions are rising in and around Iran over their recent missile test-fires, both long and short-range. Also, there is new concern regarding the new discovery of a secret uranium enrichment plant.
The tests come as the Islamic Republic started large-scale missile drills on Sunday.
Many see this as a test for United States President Barack Obama as he has recently announced that he would not further the Bush-era missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. Others see this as a test for Russia to extend their strong arm in the region and put the pressure on Iran.
Certainly the pressure will be felt as Russia is calling for “restraint.”
“This is not illegal under any international agreements, but of course when missile launches are accompanied by an unresolved situation around Iran’s nuclear program, this concerns us,” Sergei Lavrov said after a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki.
While there is great concern internationally, there is a good deal of concern from Russia as they call for more sanctions. Mikhail Margelov, head of Russia’s upper house’s international affairs committee, said although Moscow does not believe in the effectiveness of sanctions, “in some situations, sanctions become inevitable.” He also stressed the importance of the “signal that they will send to the Iranian leadership.”
In an address to professors and students at the University of Pennsylvania, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said:
“Sanctions are not the best way to deal successfully with Iran, but if we run out of all other options, we could launch sanctions based on international law.”
Iran is already under three sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its failure to stop uranium enrichment. Enrichment seen globally as a means of weapons production.