Archive for the ‘priority’ Category

Israel Scared, Wants U.S. More Engagement on Iran

November 20, 2008

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the U.S. and Europe should put aside differences with China and Russia over human rights and missile-defense issues to focus on working together to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attends the opening of ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran November 19, 2008.REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN)

“The triad of nuclear proliferation, radical Muslim terror, and rogue states, epitomized in the Iran case, can be defeated only through a paradigm shift in international relationships,” Barak said in an interview at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv late yesterday. 

By Gwen Ackerman and Calev Ben-David, Bloomberg

Barak said criticism of Russia’s actions in Chechnya and China’s human rights record are hurting efforts to put up a united front against Iran. He also said that U.S. plans to deploy missiles in Eastern Europe — which the Americans say are aimed at countering Iran and which Moscow perceives as a threat — also aren’t helpful.

“The other issues are not as urgent,” he said.

The U.S. and its European Union allies, who accuse Iran of using its nuclear energy program as a cover for developing a weapon, are pressing for a fourth round of United Nations sanctions. Iran has rejected UN demands to halt its work on enriching uranium, which can be used to fuel a power station or form the core of a bomb.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, left, Israeli Prime Minister ...
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, left, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, right, and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, center, attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008.(AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)

“The time for sanctions is still there, but it is short,” said Barak, 66, who heads Israel’s Labor Party and is the country’s former prime minister. “The way I see to make it effective is to cut through the psychological obstacles about cooperating with Russia and China and open a new discourse.”

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=
20601085&sid=amPtKPQhJ82w

Advertisements

Russia Aims to Be High on Obama’s Agenda

November 8, 2008

To the extent that he focused on Russia at all, Barack Obama’s attention was concentrated primarily on the need to keep Soviet nuclear weapons stockpiles out of the hands of terrorists.

But now, President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia has thrown down a gauntlet intended to demonstrate to the American president-elect that the post-cold war era may not be so post after all.

By Helene Cooper
The New York Times

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev looks at a banknote while ... 
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has his eye on Russia’s oil, Russia’s money, Russia’s importance in the world and barack Obama; photo taken in St. Petersburg in Russia, Friday, Nov. 7, 2008.(AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Serivce)

On Wednesday, while leaders around the world were falling over themselves to hail Mr. Obama’s election, Mr. Medvedev delivered a harsh welcome-to-the-new-cold-war speech in Moscow.

He never mentioned Mr. Obama by name, but Mr. Medvedev said he would deploy short-range missiles near Poland capable of striking NATO territory if the United States pressed ahead with plans to build a missile defense shield in Europe, something that Mr. Obama has said he supports.

Mr. Medvedev put Mr. Obama on notice on the Georgia crisis as well, vowing that “we shall not retreat in the Caucasus.”

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev visits cosmodrome Plesetsk, ... 
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev visits cosmodrome Plesetsk, October 12, 2008.REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Dmitry Astakhov

Even his one-paragraph congratulatory telegram to Mr. Obama was brusque. “I hope for a constructive dialogue with you, based on trust and consideration of each other’s interests,” Mr. Medvedev wrote.

“It was a giant, ‘Hey, welcome to the game,’ ” said George Friedman, chief executive at Stratfor, a geopolitical risk analysis company. “While Obama would like to deal sequentially with Iraq, Afghanistan and, when he gets to it, the Russians, the Russians themselves want to be a burning issue at the top of his list.”

A general view of the Russia's oil major LUKOIL oil refinery ... 
A general view of the Russia’s oil major LUKOIL oil refinery near the town of Kagalym in western Siberia, July 7, 2004 in this file photo.  (Viktor Korotayev/Reuters)
Russia's "Iskander" missile system on display ... 
Russia’s “Iskander” missile system on display at a military exhibition in the Siberian town of Nizhny Tagil in 2005. President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will place short-range missile systems on the EU’s eastern border to counter planned US missile defence installations in Eastern Europe.(AFP/VEDOMOSTI/File/Evgeny Stetsko)

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/08/world/europe/08russia.html?_r=1&oref=slogin