Wednesday, October 26, 2005

La Plus Ca Change...

According to the BBC, Russia opposes UN action on Syria.
Moscow says it will block any UN effort to impose sanctions on Damascus over its alleged role in the assassination of former Lebanese leader Rafik Hariri.
Sigh. I thought the old Soviet/Syria alliance no longer operative. Can anyone parse what Russia stands to lose if Syria's current leadership receives a shock to its system?

Speaking on a visit to Israel, a spokesman for Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow "opposes sanctions against Syria".

"Russia will be doing everything necessary to prevent attempts to impose sanctions against Syria," he said.

The draft UN resolution proposed by France, the UK and US urges Syria to arrest any of its nationals seen by UN investigators as suspects in the Hariri assassination.
Is it any wonder that Lavrov is being obstructionist about Iran as well... Feels like the old days.
Israeli officials have long considered Iran to be the biggest threat to their country, and accuse the Tehran government of pursuing nuclear weapons and missile technology that could be used against Israel.

At a joint news conference with Lavrov, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Israel believes Iran is "very close" to obtaining the knowledge to produce a nuclear bomb. "That is why all of us should be very determined to move the Iranian (issue) to the Security Council," he said.

Lavrov said that Russia will follow the lead of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is investigating the Iranian nuclear program, and believes that talk of sanctions is premature.

The U.S. has been leading the international effort to pursue sanctions against Iran. Tehran says its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.

"We rely on the professional assessment of the International Atomic Energy Agency," Lavrov said. "All our assessments ... do no substantiate the allegations that we have a clear and present danger coming from Iran."

"This issue is too serious to be guided by politics," he added.

Lavrov said that if the IAEA determines that Iran is pursuing illegal weapons, Russia would consider taking the matter to the Security Council.

The IAEA board last month declared Iran in violation of the nuclear arms-control treaty, opening the way to Security Council referral when the 35-nation board meets Nov. 24. But the chances of referral were weakened earlier this month after Iran agreed to provide sensitive documents and other access to IAEA investigators.
Meanwhile, YNET is reporting that today's terrorist bombing in Hadera, Israel originated from sources inside Damascus.
Officials: Orders come from Damascus

In response to terror attack in Hadera, diplomatic sources in Jerusalem say 'decision to carry out attacks originate in Damascus, carried out by local terror cells'
But that can't be related to anything going on in Syria. Because we all know that, like Arafat in days of yore, Bashir Assad has absolutely no say over the activities of Syria's terrorists.

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