Iran News ...


6/11/07

Guarded views on Putin proposal for Azerbaijan missile shield

TEHRAN, June 10 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iranian MP Kazem Jalali called on the Foreign Ministry on Sunday to strongly respond to a Russian proposal on the placement in Azerbaijan of a key component in a joint U.S.-Russian antimissile radar system.

Russian President Vladimir Putin made the offer to President George W. Bush at the Group of Eight Summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, on June 7. The Russian proposal counters a U.S. plan to build missile-shield facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Jalali, who is the rapporteur of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, told reporters that Iran should not be a "tool" for settling disputes between world powers.

Washington has claimed that the radar is needed as part of a shield to intercept missiles launched by countries like Iran and North Korea.

On Sunday, Putin stated that the U.S. should "hurry" to make a decision on his proposal to share a European missile shield with Russia.

Russia's offer to deploy a radar warning and control system in Azerbaijan, a neighbor of Iran, is "the best of all solutions," Putin said in an interview at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Sunday.

"The U.S. should accept my proposal," Bloomberg quoted Putin as saying. "They have to hurry up with their decision, I'm not giving them much time."

Missile shield intended to contain Russia

Middle East expert Mohammad-Ali Mohtadi argues that the missile shield is intended to contain Russia, and it is unlikely that U.S. officials will accept the Russian proposal.

"Today, the U.S. is following the same approach toward Russia that it used in the past toward the Soviet Union," Mohtadi told the Mehr News Agency.

The U.S. wants to contain Russia and powerful Asian countries like Iran and China, and the Russians have realized this, he added.

Russia wants to ensure its safety

However, international affairs expert Mohammad-Ali Ramin is of the opinion that Russia wants to deflect the focus of the missile shield toward Iran by proposing Azerbaijan, Iraq, and Turkey as potential hosts for a missile shield so that it can avoid future U.S. threats.

"In presenting this proposal, Russia wants to tacitly convince Western public opinion that if Western countries regard Iran as the greatest potential threat at the present time and the future, it would be better if they aim the missile shield toward Iran instead of Russia," Ramin observed.

Former Iranian envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohammad Kiarashi said it was predictable that Moscow would adopt such a stance and argued that this proposal would lead to an alliance between Russia and the West against Iran.

In light of Moscow's new position, Iran should expect Russia to follow a similar course in the future, he noted and suggested that Iran should "modify" its expectations of Russia, especially in regard to the nuclear issue.

U.S.-Russia convergence not necessarily against Iran

"Russia has its own reasons for convergence with the U.S., and we should not interpret the convergence between Russia and the West to be against us," political analyst Ehsan Naraqi told the MNA.

"Some think that Iran is the center of the world and all developments and stances are a kind of conspiracy against our country, while this is not so, and this idea is a result of faulty political thinking," Naraqi noted.

Some people think the U.S. has absolute dominance over everything in the world, and this is a source of many wrong ideas, he added.

Even though there are many things about the West that should be criticized, Iran should not adopt a stance of unreasonable animosity toward the West, he suggested.

... Payvand News - 6/11/07 ... --



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