Syria, Iran Warm to Russia

[AP] Sam F. Ghattas - "The Russian move into Georgia has begun a tectonic shift in the (Mideast) region," said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert in the U.S. "It has emboldened Syria, Hizbullah and Iran to push harder against Israel and the U.S." Syria's President Bashar Assad has publicly stepped up his outreach to old ally Russia in recent days, seeking aid to build up Syrian military forces. "Syria's bad negotiating position (with Israel) is leading it to look for more weapons and to try to grow more teeth before returning to the table with Israel," Landis said. Some Iranian media have asserted that Russia is now less likely to back U.S.-led efforts to pressure Iran to curb its nuclear program. The Russian ambassador to Iran, Alexander Sadovnikov, told the official IRNA news agency this weekend that Moscow won't support a new round of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran. "Russia is never after a new (sanctions) resolution," IRNA quoted the ambassador as saying.

2008-08-27 01:00:00

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