Russia says ‘Hands off Syria & Iran’

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

RUSSIA has warned the West that it is opposed to any Nato intervention in Syria or Iran, amid rising tension following the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran last week. Anglo-American imperialism swiftly moved to deny any involvement in the killing, which the Iranians say was the work of Israeli intelligence.

Tension is rising throughout the Middle East as US imperialism steps up its economic warfare against Iran, imposing penalties on any company that trades with the Islamic Republic. China has already expressed its dissatisfaction towards the American embargo after a Chinese company was punished for trading with Iran.

Russia is firmly opposed to any attack on Iran. The Kremlin’s outgoing ambassador to Nato, Dmitry Rogozin, told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday that “Iran is our neighbour” and any military action would be “a direct threat to our security”.

At the same time Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the media in Moscow that a military strike against Iran over its nuclear programme was “unacceptable”. Such an attack would “make the situation even more critical and cannot be allowed under any circumstances.

Gatilov said Russia rejects new sanctions against the Islamic Republic and he stressed that, so far, the military nature of Iran’s nuclear programme had not been proven.

Meanwhile the Russian Foreign Ministry says the country would not support a possible deployment of Arab League peacekeepers to Syria because the alliance lacks legal authority for such a move.

At the United Nations Anglo-American imperialism has rejected a Russian-proposed draft resolution on Syria because it called on all sides to end the violence and failed to condemn the Assad government’s crackdown on opposition violence. France, Britain and the United States are pushing for strong condemnation of Syria, but Russia and China have blocked such measures.

US State Department official Mark Toner said the Americans were pleased to see that the Russians were willing work with them on Syria but “more work needs to be done, from what we’ve seen so far”.

“We’re going to work to realise a draft resolution that, you know, holds the Assad regime accountable, but also, obviously, supports the Arab League efforts in this regard,” he said.

But Arab League “efforts” are simply aimed at regime change in Syria because the League is dominated by the Saudis and the other oil princes who serve the interests of Anglo-American imperialism.

The Iranians say that Israeli intelligence carried out the assassination of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, the deputy head of Iran’s largest uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, on 11th January. On that day, Israel’s military spokesperson, Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai, announced on Facebook: “I don’t know who settled the score with the Iranian scientist, but I certainly am not shedding a tear.”

The attack was similar to several other attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists in the past two years. In January 2010 Professor Mahsud Ali Mohamed of Tehran University was killed outside his home when a motorbike exploded next to his car as he got into the vehicle. In November of that year, bomb attacks killed two atom scientists, Majid Shakhriani and his colleague Dr Fereidoun Davani-Abbasi, and injured their wives. In both cases, their cars were attacked by unknown motorcyclists.