MARCH 09, 2006
Iran Swapped for WTO
IAEA board of governors focused Wednesday on the report about the nuclear program of Iran. Predictably, the decision was to refer the report to the U.N. Security Council, which would canvass the matter already in early next week. This move of the nuclear watchdog could be attributed to the recent agreement reached during the visit of Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the United States. Moscow is apparently expecting Washington to ensure the WTO entry for Russia in exchange for support in Iranian issues.The last visit of Lavrov to Washington was unusually high in status just for the minister. The Thursday agenda, for instance, set forth Lavrov’s meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, the place traditionally used by the U.S. presidents for talking to their counterparts.
The meeting in the Oval Office roots in two achievements of Russia’s diplomats. In the past month, Moscow managed to position itself as the exclusive negotiator with Iran and Hamas.
What’s more, for Lavrov, most of the previous negotiations with the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were rather tough. But not on March 7, however. In the United States, they were so eager to learn the standing of Moscow in respect of Iran that Lavrov had a good chance to express the Kremlin’s wishes in the White House with the WTO entry as the most vital of them, of course.
The U.S. negotiations of Lavrov proved obviously effective for the parties involved but equally disastrous for Iran. Russia has no interests concerning Iran that would differ from the interests of our European partners and the United States, said Sergey Prikhodko, advisor of the president of Russia, despite that all previous statements of Russia were clearly pro-Iranian. “There’re some differences in approaches to these problems, but the target is shared – making Iran a predictable neighbor, not the source of the threat of disseminating weapons of mass destruction.”
Russia’s only proposal was creating a joint venture to meet Iranian needs in the nuclear fuel, Lavrov said Wednesday. “This initiative isn’t new. It was welcomed by all participants of the process. No compromise offers were made or could ever be made,” Lavrov said counting, perhaps, on the WTO entry.