Remember, the word "our" ("nash") in this context has the distinct
connotation of "Slavic" in the same way that "Nashi" does
when referring to Putin's youth cult.
An editorial in the New York Times over the weekend exposed Vladimir Putin's mendacious arrogance as he threatens the West with a new cold war:
Vladimir Putin is a master at bluster and hyperbole, but his latest comments on Iran were especially counterproductive. This week, Mr. Putin asserted that “we have no real data to claim that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, which makes us believe the country has no such plans.” In fact, there is no concrete proof of weapons development. But there is enough credible circumstantial evidence to be seriously worried.
There’s also no excuse for Iran’s continued defiance of a Security Council order to halt production of enriched uranium, usable for nuclear fuel or a weapon. Mr. Putin’s comments — and his opposition to tougher sanctions — will only feed that defiance and lessen the chances for the diplomatic settlement that Mr. Putin says he wants.
The Bush administration and Britain — their credibility after Iraq is shaky to say the least — aren’t the only ones who believe that Tehran wants to do a lot more than generate electricity. France, which strongly opposed the Iraq war, is also raising alarms. The United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, is the source of much of the data — and the questions — about Iran’s program.
Russia, meanwhile, has been all over the lot [LR: That's the mark of a psychopath, we've come full circle with today's posts] — one day siding with Washington and Europe on the need to contain Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and the next one denying the threat. Russia’s geographical proximity to Iran makes at least some Kremlin aides nervous, but most of the time they seem more interested in Iran’s oil riches and its willingness to spend a chunk of that cash on Russian made weapons and other technology.
Such deals will likely be high on Mr. Putin’s agenda when he visits Tehran next week. But he should not let them blind him to the very real threat that would be posed by a nuclear-armed Iran. He could do a lot more good for Russia — and his own credibility — if he told the Iranians that they must halt enrichment and accept Europe’s and Washington’s offers of economic and diplomatic payoffs if they do.