Iran, Russia and China: The New Troika
Over the weekend, FrontPage Magazine asked for an interview regarding the cooperative and protective relationship that both Russia and China have undertaken with regard to Iran. Both Russia and China are pursuing their own goals and needs, which include energy supply, economics and the shared desire among all to damage and weaken the United States. Iran remains, in the context of the triumvirate, a hot hand in a re-surging cold war.
FP: We've gathered here today to discuss the Iran-Russia-China alignment. I think a good place to start is with Russia sending nuclear fuel to Iran. What do you make of this development?
Schippert: The 11-shipment Russian supply underway of 80 tons of enriched uranium nuclear fuel for the Russian-built 1,000 megawatt light water reactor is a sweeping Iranian victory and troubling in several respects. From a strategic view flying by at 20,000 feet, it is indicative of Iran and Russia's deepening common alignment against the United States. It's an alignment – an allied partnership beyond nuclear cooperation - that also includes China.
Iran has notched yet another major victory over the West, which remains quick and eager to talk while slow and reluctant to act. Iran smartly feeds the Western obsession with talks and negotiations, while acting without pause or regret. The West, in this regard, is persistently, willingly and knowingly being played.
The first question that should come to mind should be, why then does Iran need to continue enrichment if Russia supplies the fuel for its only production reactor? And, what use does Iran have for the enriched uranium it will soon begin producing in significant quantities itself? With the Russian-built Bushehr reactor on the Arabian Gulf operating on Russian fuel and no other light water plants in operation – let alone being built – the answer is either benevolent stockpiling for future plants or the development of nuclear weapons. Of course, there's the Arak heavy water plant nearing completion, which will be used to create plutonium.
Recall that Iran steadfastly refused a deal tabled in which they would have received Russian enriched uranium fuel in exchange for scrapping their enrichment program. What ended up agreed to in 2005 was a Russian supply with no enrichment cessation requirement at all. Until now, Russia hesitated to deliver the fuel. This Iranian victory, which few discuss from this perspective, has afforded the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism both the preservation and advancement of its nuclear enrichment program and the Russian nuclear fuel for the low, low cost of...nothing. Iran ceded nothing and has now received both.If that were not disconcerting enough, consider the timing of the sudden arrival of the first Russian enriched uranium fuel shipment.
The timing of the delivery and the massive oil and gas deal signed between China and Iran are not mere coincidences. Each unforeseen event came days after the latest NIE on Iran provided the necessary political and diplomatic cover to freely proceed with each.
The entire interview published today can be read at FrontPage Magazine, and includes a fundamental policy recommendation for dealing with the 'new axis.'