RUSSIA WARNS ISRAEL NOT TO ATTACK IRAN: PROPHETIC IMPLICATIONS?
Joel C. Rosenberg
Joel C. Rosenberg
(Washington, D.C., February 22, 2012) -- Make no mistake: the Russian-Iranian strategic alliance that I've been writing about for the last several years has deepened to the point where Moscow is now unequivocally and quite openly backing the mullahs in Iran.
"Russia warned Israel on Wednesday that attacking Iran would be a disastrous and played down the failure of a U.N. nuclear agency mission to Tehran, saying there is still a chance for new talks over the Iranian atomic programme," reports Reuters.
"'Of course any possible military scenario against Iran will be catastrophic for the region and for the whole system of international relations,' Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told a news conference. It was one of Russia's starkest warnings against resorting to force, an option Israel and the United States have not ruled out if they conclude that diplomacy and increasing sanctions will not stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb."
The big question now is this: Will Vladimir Putin win his bid for become Russia's President again during the March 4 elections, and would Putin then directly threaten Israel with retaliation for an attack on Iran? So far, Russia hasn't gone so far as to threaten a military response, but it's not out of the question.
The latest poll shows Putin in a commanding lead to regain the presidency, with 58.6% support, compared to Gennady Zyuganov, the head of the Communist Party, who has 14.8% support.
And Putin in recent years seems itching to rebuild the Russian military (something he promised again just this week; he's called for a $770 billion upgrade of Russia's military), strengthen his alliances throughout the Islamic world, and give the West a black eye. He's explicitly running his campaign on anti-Americanism, for example.
He's close to the Iranians. He's defending the Bashar al-Assad, the butcher in Damascus. He's growing closer to the Turks, as they become hostile to Israel. Putin hasn't directly threatened Israel, but he's backing all of Israel's worst enemies and could find himself drawn into a war to prove his alpha-dog machismo.