The Haaretz article that made such a stir by reporting that the Pentagon had turned down Israeli requests for high-powered equipment to aid an attack on Iran’s nuclear research facilities has a coda that I looked at again this morning:
‘Russia, however, is considered key to efforts to isolate Iran, and Israeli officials have therefore urged their American counterparts in recent months to tone down Washington’s other disputes with Moscow to focus all its efforts on obtaining Russia’s backing against Iran. For instance, they suggested that Washington offer to drop its plan to station a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic – a proposal Russia views as a threat, though Washington insists the system is aimed solely at Iran – in exchange for Russia agreeing to stiffer sanctions against Iran. However, the administration rejected this idea.’
You know, somehow, I just think that for Washington to get Russian cooperation for a push against Iran just got a lot more implausible, what with Bush being pushed by McCain to take a harder line in support of Georgia
Russia may also be annoyed with Israel over its arms sales to Georgia.
Then there is this item: Israel fears war could hurt Iran effort.
The Cheney line that Russia needs to be punished, and Rice’s warning that Russia will be isolated, may make them feel good. But the US is much weaker after the increase in power of the oil and gas states like Russia and Iran this year, and isn’t in a position to “isolate” Russia without at the same time giving a lot of indirect aid to Iran.