Will Russia Swerve on Iran?

November 10, 2006

Russia has reportedly come to an agreement with the US in regards to the county’s entrance into the WTO. The obvious question now is what has Russia given up in terms of its foreign policy to obtain the US go-ahead. Currently, the biggest disagreement between the two states are the Iranian sanctions to be discussed at the UN Security Council; the initially-proposed sanctions were edited and weakened by Russia to reflect Russia’s partnership with Iran.

Today, Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani was in talks in Moscow to persuade Russia not to steer away from its position. The Iranians, of course, need the support of Moscow as it is virtually its sole diplomatic ally for the nuclear program. However, the WTO may be a significant incentive for Russia to alter its stance — the country has been trying to enter the trade organization for years. On the other hand, the Russians are building Iran’s first nuclear power plant in Bushehr, an $800 million project. If the project is successful, the Russians stand to gain more contracts in the country.

In fact, it’s almost advantageous to be the sole supporter of the nuclear program and have a monopoly on similar contracts.


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