Russia and Iran

Is Russia trading its votes at the UN and promises of finishing the Iranian nuclear reactor for Iranian support for Russia controlling more Caspian oil? Negotiations are currently underway among five nations over division of mineral, fishing, and other rights. Putin has visions of using Russian energy wealth to once again become a world power, and control of the vast energy wealth of the Caspian Sea significantly augments the other oil sources in Russia.

Beyond owning oil deposits, influencing where the pipelines will run that will take the Caspian oil and gas (whoever owns it) to European markets, Russia would be able to control access of European nations to vital supplies of oil and gas. The ability to have a hand on the spigot is the ability to exert control over the lives of hundreds of millions of Europeans, Ukrainians, and others. The Russians have cut access to energy before as a way to flex their muscles as recently as the last 18 months. The Europeans want Caspian energy and want a secure pipeline outside of Russian control.

Russia may be derailing this goal by negotiating with the Iranians, offering help in the UN, sanction busting, arms sales, and the supply of nuclear technology.

President Putin vowed that Russia would finish the Busher nuclear plant in Iran Tuesday
Moscow, Oct 17 (Prensa Latina) Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday in Tehran that experts from his country will complete the construction of the Busher nuclear plant in Iran.

The Russian Federation has said from the beginning that it would complete the work and that commitment will be honored, said the president.

Putin met twice on Tuesday with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to analyze the ways to complete the project, Kremlin Aide Sergei Prijodko told local television.

The first bilateral meeting took place after the Caspian Summit as was planned, but it lasted more than expected, so the two leaders decided to meet again, the source added.

In the second round, held after Putin's news conference with Iranian media, the presidents reviewed the state of bilateral ties and focused on how to complete the Busher nuclear plant as soon as possible, the aide pointed out.
We'll see if Russia ever completes the plant. A-Jad actually brought up the delay in construction in his speech at Columbia:
Well, in the past, I tell you, we had contracts with the U.S. government, with the British government, the French government, the German government and the Canadian government on nuclear development for peaceful purposes. But unilaterally, each and every one of them canceled their contracts with us, as a result of which the Iranian people had to pay the heavy cost in billions of dollars.

Why do we need the fuel from you? You've not even given us spare aircraft parts that we need for civilian aircraft for 28 years, under the name of the embargo and sanctions, because we are against, for example, human rights or freedom? Under that pretext you deny us that technology?

We want to have the right to self-determination towards our future. We want to be independent. Don't interfere in us. If you don't give us spare parts for civilian aircraft, what is the expectation that you'd give us fuel for nuclear development for peaceful purposes?

For 30 years we've faced these problems; for over $5 billion to the Germans and then to the Russians, but we haven't gotten anything, and the worst have not been completed. It is our right, we want our right, and we don't want anything beyond the law, nothing less than what international law. We are a peaceful-loving nation. We love all nations.
From the National Review Media Blog:  
It's big business selling Iran half finished construction projects. Here's an interesting collection of Iranian bloggers who think Putin is stringing Iran along (yet again) on the nuclear plant in order to gain concessions on a bigger economic issue, the distribution of resources in the Caspian Sea. An excerpt from one of the posts:
Kaghz Pareh (means piece of Paper) says [Fa] that in order to get Russia's support on the nuclear issue, the Iranian government has put Iran for sale. The blogger says the next generation will suffer for what happens today.
From Foreign Policy:
Most of the press on Vladimir Putin's historic trip to Tehran has focused on his warning to the U.S. not to attack Iran and the possibility of some sort of strategic partnership between the Kremlin and the ayatollahs. One could almost be forgiven for thinking that the meeting that Putin attended was some sort of trans-Caspian "death to America" summit. In fact, the real substance of the meeting was about the distribution of the Caspian Sea region's energy resources. On this front, almost no progress was made and more was revealed about Russia and Iran's differences than their agreements.

The Kremlin still views the Caspian as Russia's "near-abroad," and Iran's growth as a regional power is troubling to the Russians as well. The two countries didn't really see eye to eye at the summit, as the AP explained:
Iran, which shared the Caspian's resources equally with the Soviet Union, insists that each coastal nation receive an equal portion of the seabed. Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan want the division based on the length of each nation's shore, which would give Iran a smaller share.
Another back story behind the summit is CIA Director Michael Hayden's unexplained recent visit to Baku, Azerbaijan where he met with President Ilham Aliyev. Azerbaijani analysts have speculated that the U.S. is preparing to use the country as a staging ground for a war on Iran, though the Azeris and the Iranians continue to enjoy strong cultural and economic ties. But Hayden's visit might also have had something to do with the construction of a trans-Caspian natural gas pipeline to bypass Russia, a deal the Russians have wanted to scuttle from the beginning.
Ed Lasky is news editor of American Thinker.
Is Russia trading its votes at the UN and promises of finishing the Iranian nuclear reactor for Iranian support for Russia controlling more Caspian oil? Negotiations are currently underway among five nations over division of mineral, fishing, and other rights. Putin has visions of using Russian energy wealth to once again become a world power, and control of the vast energy wealth of the Caspian Sea significantly augments the other oil sources in Russia.

Beyond owning oil deposits, influencing where the pipelines will run that will take the Caspian oil and gas (whoever owns it) to European markets, Russia would be able to control access of European nations to vital supplies of oil and gas. The ability to have a hand on the spigot is the ability to exert control over the lives of hundreds of millions of Europeans, Ukrainians, and others. The Russians have cut access to energy before as a way to flex their muscles as recently as the last 18 months. The Europeans want Caspian energy and want a secure pipeline outside of Russian control.

Russia may be derailing this goal by negotiating with the Iranians, offering help in the UN, sanction busting, arms sales, and the supply of nuclear technology.

President Putin vowed that Russia would finish the Busher nuclear plant in Iran Tuesday
Moscow, Oct 17 (Prensa Latina) Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday in Tehran that experts from his country will complete the construction of the Busher nuclear plant in Iran.

The Russian Federation has said from the beginning that it would complete the work and that commitment will be honored, said the president.

Putin met twice on Tuesday with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to analyze the ways to complete the project, Kremlin Aide Sergei Prijodko told local television.

The first bilateral meeting took place after the Caspian Summit as was planned, but it lasted more than expected, so the two leaders decided to meet again, the source added.

In the second round, held after Putin's news conference with Iranian media, the presidents reviewed the state of bilateral ties and focused on how to complete the Busher nuclear plant as soon as possible, the aide pointed out.
We'll see if Russia ever completes the plant. A-Jad actually brought up the delay in construction in his speech at Columbia:
Well, in the past, I tell you, we had contracts with the U.S. government, with the British government, the French government, the German government and the Canadian government on nuclear development for peaceful purposes. But unilaterally, each and every one of them canceled their contracts with us, as a result of which the Iranian people had to pay the heavy cost in billions of dollars.

Why do we need the fuel from you? You've not even given us spare aircraft parts that we need for civilian aircraft for 28 years, under the name of the embargo and sanctions, because we are against, for example, human rights or freedom? Under that pretext you deny us that technology?

We want to have the right to self-determination towards our future. We want to be independent. Don't interfere in us. If you don't give us spare parts for civilian aircraft, what is the expectation that you'd give us fuel for nuclear development for peaceful purposes?

For 30 years we've faced these problems; for over $5 billion to the Germans and then to the Russians, but we haven't gotten anything, and the worst have not been completed. It is our right, we want our right, and we don't want anything beyond the law, nothing less than what international law. We are a peaceful-loving nation. We love all nations.
From the National Review Media Blog:  
It's big business selling Iran half finished construction projects. Here's an interesting collection of Iranian bloggers who think Putin is stringing Iran along (yet again) on the nuclear plant in order to gain concessions on a bigger economic issue, the distribution of resources in the Caspian Sea. An excerpt from one of the posts:
Kaghz Pareh (means piece of Paper) says [Fa] that in order to get Russia's support on the nuclear issue, the Iranian government has put Iran for sale. The blogger says the next generation will suffer for what happens today.
From Foreign Policy:
Most of the press on Vladimir Putin's historic trip to Tehran has focused on his warning to the U.S. not to attack Iran and the possibility of some sort of strategic partnership between the Kremlin and the ayatollahs. One could almost be forgiven for thinking that the meeting that Putin attended was some sort of trans-Caspian "death to America" summit. In fact, the real substance of the meeting was about the distribution of the Caspian Sea region's energy resources. On this front, almost no progress was made and more was revealed about Russia and Iran's differences than their agreements.

The Kremlin still views the Caspian as Russia's "near-abroad," and Iran's growth as a regional power is troubling to the Russians as well. The two countries didn't really see eye to eye at the summit, as the AP explained:
Iran, which shared the Caspian's resources equally with the Soviet Union, insists that each coastal nation receive an equal portion of the seabed. Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan want the division based on the length of each nation's shore, which would give Iran a smaller share.
Another back story behind the summit is CIA Director Michael Hayden's unexplained recent visit to Baku, Azerbaijan where he met with President Ilham Aliyev. Azerbaijani analysts have speculated that the U.S. is preparing to use the country as a staging ground for a war on Iran, though the Azeris and the Iranians continue to enjoy strong cultural and economic ties. But Hayden's visit might also have had something to do with the construction of a trans-Caspian natural gas pipeline to bypass Russia, a deal the Russians have wanted to scuttle from the beginning.
Ed Lasky is news editor of American Thinker.