Debka is reporting that the Russians will provide gas to the Iranians.
Countering the new US embargo on petroleum and oil distillates embargo on Iran, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko and Iranian Oil Minister Masud Mir-Kazemi Wednesday, July 14 signed a series of far-reaching energy-related agreements, including a deal to sell Tehran Russian petroleum products and petrochemicals.
Debkafile’s Moscow sources report that the pacts aim squarely at the law signed by President Barack Obama on July 2 to hit Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps’ prime source of income, imported refined oil products including gasoline. The Russian and Iranian energy ministers contracted specifically to “increase cooperation in transit, swaps and marketing of natural gas as well as sales of petroleum products and petrochemicals.” The accords also set up “a joint bank to help fund bilateral energy projects.”
As for the impact on Israel, Debkafile’s sources note that the Russian step has demolished the last remnant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strategy which, during all his eighteen months in office, relied on Tehran being held back from attaining a nuclear weapon by expanded international sanctions harsh enough to hurt its economy. He trusted Obama’s new energy sanctions to be the ultimate preventative – until Wednesday, when Moscow stepped in to pull their punch.
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Analysis.Part two of today’s Iran Update makes it clear that the recent round of sanctions are actually having an effect. Now the Russians go around the sanctions they voted for. Why?
The Russians both pissed and scared. They are pissed that we are supporting Ukraine and Georgia and helping them stay out from under Russia’s thumb. In both cases, the Russians fear invasion knowing that they have no major geographic barriers between them and their traditional invaders. Poland and the Baltic states are members of NATO removing a lot of all weather ports from the Russians. Russia looks to total control of hydrocarbon exports from the ‘Stans a one good means to keep the French and Germans from going east again.
I also believe that they are trying to regain their former influence in the Middle East. They will happily sell weapons to both sides of any conflict. They are counting on everybody’s fear of a Middle East wide war to keep things boiling but under control. The Russians may live to regret that plan.
It is obvious that Iran will not stop its pursuit of a nuclear weapons. Sooner or later they will get the bomb. They are likely to use it offensively. That is Israel’s fear. Israel is a one bomb country. One nuke pretty much wipes out the country. That puts the onus on Israel to take action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
What remains to be seen is how well Russia honors these agreements with the Iranians. Russia still has not delivered the S-300 SAM systems to the Iranians that they have already paid for. They may not honor this agreement fully either. That is yet to be seen.