Sending a strong message to the world that any attack on Iran would be tantamount to an attack on Russia, Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Yevgeny Lukyanov signed a strategic agreement with Iran, represented by the Iranian Supreme National Security Council Deputy Secretary Ali Baqeri.
"This document incorporates various aspects of collaboration between the national security councils of Iran and Russia in different security, economic, political and intelligence sectors," Baqeri told the IRNA Iranian news agency.
The agreement was concluded during the Iranian mission's visit to Moscow on Nov. 10, where the two sides discussed the latest developments in the Middle East; Iran's peaceful nuclear program; and the position of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the case, as well as Russia's "step-by-step" strategy on Iran's nuclear case, Baqeri pointed out. The latest IAEA report on Iran's peaceful nuclear program was dismissed as "unbalanced, unprofessional, and prepared with political motivation and under political pressure mostly by the United States."
Baqeri also discussed revival of a nuclear dialogue under the step-by-step framework conceived by Russia and announced by its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on July 13. The plan envisages talks that will allow Iran to address the IAEA's concerns on a "case-by-case" basis. As Iran allays these issues, the Russian plan would reward it by incremental lifting of sanctions. The West rejected that plan.
Baqeri told Bloomberg News today that Iran confirmed in Moscow that it "wants to resolve all outstanding issues with the IAEA," and that "This is incompatible with efforts to impose new sanctions, which will only drive any prospects of negotiations into a dead end." Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told Bloomberg that China believes sanctions against Iran won't resolve the problems related to Iran's nuclear development.
Alexander Lukashevich, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that the release of the IAEA report was aimed at preventing the resumption of dialogue with Iran.
On Nov. 10, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov discussed the economic and political weakness of the United States in an interview with ITAR-Tass: "With the emergence of other centers of economic growth and financial strength, with which comes political clout, the United States' share of the global economy is objectively becoming different. To tackle some of the issues, it already does not have enough of its own resources, and is in need of forming support groups. In the world, such groups can only be created in a legitimate framework, primarily in the UN. The case of Libya shows that legitimatization of such collective actions will require increased scrutiny from now on. We will no longer tolerate an ambiguity that penetrated the resolution on Libya."
The Russian Foreign Ministry website reports that on Nov. 10, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Bogdanov met the Director of West Asian and North African Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Chen Xiaodong. They emphasized the need to overcome crisis situations in the Middle East without resorting to violence, through a broad national dialogue, without any outside interference, and reiterated their shared conviction that imposing further sanctions on Iran will not lead to the desired result.