Sunday, November 27, 2005

Iran and Russia

In September, I wrote:

There are two certainties in this impasse between Iran and the EU and US: one, that Iran wants a nuclear weapon, the civilian use is a ruse and the military are heavily involved in the project; two, that Iran will be referred to the Security Council when the time is right, and the time will be when Russia will be convinced that a nuclear Iran is not in its geopolitical interests. This could happen sooner rather than later, perhaps with a little help from the CIA: it might be embarrassing for Putin to explain to the Russian people why he likes Iran so much if details of Iran involvement with al Qaeda in Chechnya or its covert cooperation with Pyongyang were to become public.

I always thought it was self evident that Iran was playing with fire and I wonder if Putin was just looking the other way to pursue his geopolitical aims in Asia. He won't be able to ignore Iran's involvement with terrorism on his turf now:

Iran is secretly training Chechen rebels in sophisticated terror techniques to enable them to carry out more effective attacks against Russian forces, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal. Teams of Chechen fighters are being trained at the Revolutionary Guards' Imam Ali training camp, located close to Tajrish Square in Teheran, according to Western intelligence reports. In addition to receiving training in the latest terror techniques, the Chechen volunteers undergo ideological and political instruction by hardline Iranian mullahs at Qom. The disclosure that Iran is training Chechen rebels will not go down well in Moscow, which regards itself as a close ally of the Iranian regime.

And since this won't help much, we might see a Russian policy shift vis-a-vis a nuclear Iran.

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