Friday, May 21, 2010

U.S. Made Secret Deals to Get Russia to Accept Sanctions Plan: Forgiving Previous Sanctions' Violators

By Barry Rubin

Still more goodies for Russia, obviously part of the deal to get Russian support for the sanctions' proposal on Iran. Not only is Russia able--if it ever wants to do so--to sell anti-aircraft missiles to Iran but Russian officials claim that all arms deals already negotiated are exempt. Moreover, we now learn that the U.S. government has dropped restrictions on four Russian institutions previously caught selling military equipment to Iran.

And consider the implications. The message being sent is: If you get caught in future violating sanctions' restrictions, you can get out of any penalization for doing so. Remember that the sanctions' proposal as presented has governments voluntarily deciding whether to implement the provisions, which are mostly recommended, not mandatory. The Russian government will never seriously investigate or punish its companies for violations.

What other secret deals with Russia and China have been made that we don't know about yet? And what will the U.S. government give to other countries--like Turkey and Brazil--to get their support either in terms of direct concessions or watering down the plan?

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