Putin demonstrated for the world the role Russia could play in resolving global conflicts by pressuring Iran into becoming more agreeable to compromise regarding its nuclear program. And it worked.
Econo-Girl has done hours of research to find the best summation of Putin's speech to the security conference in Munich. Click on the title to this post to see it. This blog will focus on what Putin said at the Munich Security Conference and what he meant by it.
Today, we are going to look at Putin's message to Iran.
He stated that Russia has been minimally cooperating with Iran militarily so as not to have them feel isolated. But Putin claimed that nuclear materials in Iran are coming from Europe and Asia, not Russia. He mentioned that while the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. made an agreement to destroy short and medium range missiles, countries including North and South Korea, Israel and Iran did not. New agreements need to be made to face this reality.
Putin also remarked that Iran should be more responsive to the IAEA.
And then guess what? Iran signaled that the fight over their nuclear program could be resolved by dialog.
Russia is giving Iran military support. And when Putin gets up in a major international security conference and mentions that Iran should cooperate more with international inspectors, Iran listens.
The timing of Iran's willingness to compromise on its nuclear program cannot be dismissed as mere coincidence. Think about it. For a few years Europe and the U.S. have been cajoling Iran, threatening Iran, nagging Iran to stop enriching uranium. Now they are willing to talk about it. That's a big step forward, and a step at least a little related to Putin's speech.
It is important that Putin mentions this point in a speech that highly criticizes U.S. unilateralism. Putin demonstrated that by Russia's participation in the pressure on Iran, the level of Iranian cooperation changes. He shows the world, if they care to look, how much could be accomplished if Russia was brought to the table as a partner.
The response of the U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates was a dismissive snort mocking the cold war. Of course what is said and what is believed are two different things. But it would be a mistake not to listen to Putin now.
After that, he addresses a series of issues that could be topics for further global cooperation: nuclear energy, poverty and corruption related to it, international law, genocide and nuclear disarmament.
Econo-Girl will try to address each issue in its turn.