Don’t Let Russia Use Iran as a Bargaining Chip

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By Daniel Vajdic

August 23, 2011, 8:34 am

Several events in recent days indicate deepening ties between Iran and Russia. Last Monday, Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev paid an official two-day visit to Iran. Patrushev held talks with Iran’s Supreme National Security Council head Saeed Jalili. He also met with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. The next day Salehi traveled to Moscow at the invitation of his Russian counterpart.

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Russian official: Iran atomic plant to operate in weeks

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Launch of Bushehr plant is imminent, says Russian deputy FM; reactor already operating at low level for tests
By REUTERS
05/12/2011 15:44.  

MOSCOW- Iran‘s Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant will be fully operational within weeks, local news agencies quoted a senior Russian diplomat as saying on Thursday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov spoke two days after the company that built the plant, a politically charged project that faced repeated delays, said the reactor had begun operating at a low level for tests before bringing it on line. Continue reading

Israeli ex-spy boss: Iran strike ‘stupid’


An interior view of the Bushehr nuclear power plant is shown on October 26, 2010 as Iran began to load fuel into the core of its first atomic power plant some 745 miles south of Tehran. The Russian-built power plant is supervised by the United Nation’s nuclear agency. UPI/Mehr News Agency/Majid Asgarpour

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TEL AVIV, Israel, May 12 (UPI) — Meir Dagan, Israel’s recently retired intelligence chief who spent eight years trying to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, has declared a military strike against that contentious project “is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”

Dagan’s comments Sunday during a symposium on regional strategy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the first time he has publicly opposed military action against Iran, challenged hard-line Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

That has made it more difficult for Netanyahu to press the case for an attack with his own Cabinet, with Washington or with the Israeli public. Continue reading