Is Moscow Playing a Double Game on Iran's Nukes?
Foreign Policy / William Tobey

Although Moscow talks a good game on Iran's nuclear program, since Iran's clandestine uranium enrichment program was first exposed in 2002, Russia has consistently impeded effective action. The problem is not that the Russians doubt Iran's nuclear potential. In 2005, a Russian diplomat told me that compared with the Iranians, North Korean nuclear engineers (who have since conducted two nuclear tests) are "children," and warned that Russia's assessments of how soon Iran might attain a nuclear weapon are more pessimistic than those reported in the U.S. media. There are, however, reasons why keeping the issue alive is in Russia's interest, and therefore Moscow would prefer not to solve the problem anytime soon.

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