Russia: No New Iran Sanctions, No Attack

U.S. hawks insist at every turn on more and harsher sanctions against Iran. But the only means of pressure available to them may be either ineffective unilateral moves or aggressive extraterritorial sanctions that are likely to upset allies.

According to the Associated Press, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said yesterday in Europe that his country wouldn’t take part in more sanctions aimed solely at crippling Iran’s broader economy.

What’s more, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov swore off the “threat of” and the “use of force” as “effective tool(s)” against Iran.

So much for a new coalition of the willing. If the U.S. or Israel decides to go after Iran militarily, it will be like Iraq — a unilateral move largely considered illegal by the international community. Without Russia, you can count UN support unequivocally out of the question.

From the AP report, via MSNBC (my emphasis):

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that “any new proposals … would basically be aimed at suffocating the Iranian economy.”

He said that “was not part of the agreement” when the U.N. Security Council’s five permanent members and Germany started trying to allay doubts over Iran’s nuclear intentions with a combination of incentives and pressure.

Lavrov argued that the Istanbul meeting was “not a total failure.” And Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov also insisted that there is “very limited and fragile progress,” while emphasizing that Russia was against a nuclear-armed Iran.

“There is no alternative to further talks,” Ivanov said at a security conference in Munich. “We believe that neither stronger sanctions nor the threat of or, more than that, the use of force can be considered as an effective tool.”

(Hat tip to Dr. Walter Posch of SWP, a research institute in Berlin.)

Ali Gharib

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.



  1. Russia is seeing an opening brought to its door by US and the tyrants from Egypt,Jordan,Tunisia,Yemen and Israel.

  2. Events in Egypt and the broader Arab world will end US and Israeli adventurism in the Middle East for the foreseeable future. The invasion of Iraq depended on other Arab regimes’ ability to put a tight lid on domestic unrest. Now that the lid has blown off, neither Israel nor the US can afford to precipitate the fall of additional regimes or radicalize those that, like Egypt and Tunisia, are struggling to stabilize their country and economy.

    Another wave of unrest could bring a truly hostile neighbor to Israel’s southern border and jeopardize the US’ lynch pin in the Middle East.

    Iran can rest assured that it will now only be attacked through the Western media and by Western subversion.

    I don’t see either the US or Israel having an epiphany and realizing that a negotiated outcome is best for all.

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