PQC: Do I need to repeat myself here?

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Written by Andrew Korybko on 2019-07-21

The chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee used very loaded language when describing the status of his country’s sailors who were on a UK-flagged vessel that was just detained by Iran.

Russian-Iranian relations have always been very complicated, but their contemporary state is probably the most complex that it’s ever been. Russia’s alliance with “Israel” has seen Moscow green light the self-professed “Jewish State’s” hundreds of bombing operations against suspected Iranian positions in Syria over nearly the past four years, yet Foreign Minister Lavrov insists that Moscow can maintain equally positive relations with both Mideast rivals. In any case, the loaded language that the chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee used when describing the status of his country’s sailors who were on a UK-flagged vessel that was just detained by Iran seems to suggest that Moscow’s regional “balancing” act is tilting against the Islamic Republic. The reputable publicly financed international media outlet TASS reported that the influential Konstantin Kosachev said the following about that situation (bolded emphasis added):

“This information [that there were Russian citizens on board the detained tanker] needs to be verified as soon as possible through existing channels with the Iranian side. Such channels are established and effective. If this information is confirmed, then we need to ensure that the rights of our citizens are observed by the Iranian side. Our citizens should not become hostage to the geopolitical confrontation between Iran and Western countries.”

It’s ambiguous enough to not directly lay the blame for what happened on either side, but the very fact that it was nevertheless Iran that detained the Russian sailors who were aboard that British-flagged vessel strongly implies some culpability for the latest escalation on Tehran’s part. This imbues the warning that the Russian citizens “should not become hostage” with an entirely new meaning that could be interpreted as a message from Moscow to Tehran, specifically that it wants those sailors released as soon as possible. It doesn’t seem to matter to Russia that its nationals were on a ship that was supposedly involved in an accident with an Iranian fishing boat, since signaling some degree of support for the Western narrative and putting tacit pressure on Tehran could be seen as a “goodwill gesture” designed to support Moscow’s ongoing efforts to reach a “New Detente” with Washington.

DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.

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