“The President of Ukraine let slip in Munich”
On August 5, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Sochi for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. They will continue discussing the topics raised at the Tehran summit on July 19 with the participation of the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey. The Russian Federation is looking for allies and partners in the Middle East, creates new alliances, and changes the geopolitical reality. We talked about this new reality with political scientist and orientalist Karine Gevorgyan.
Photo: Global Look Press
– I think it's just a coincidence. Promoting this topic is beneficial to those forces that are interested in distancing Israel from Russia. I believe that the materials for the consideration of the case in the Basmanny Court were being prepared long before Putin's visit to Tehran. It does not happen that this topic suddenly arises like a testicle for Christ's day.
– If you accept your version that someone deliberately fabricated this case in order to please Iran, then I would not vouch for this person's career. Maybe even the Iranians won't thank him. It would be a big stupidity.
– It developed beyond these negotiations. I draw your attention to the fact that the naval exercises of Iran and the Russian Federation, and sometimes the Russian Federation, Iran and China are held regularly. In this regard, there was cooperation, and the story with “Sohnut” has nothing to do with it.
– The promotion of the topic of the sale of Iranian drones in the Russian Federation, in my opinion, occurs at the suggestion of American structures. Iranian UAVs have been bought by the CSTO country – Tajikistan for a long time. Moreover, there is a plant in Tajikistan where they are assembled. Russia can easily buy Iranian drones from Tajikistan within the framework of the CSTO. I do not exclude such a possibility.
– He used them, for example, during the border conflict with Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan, also a member of the CSTO, bought Bayraktars from Turkey for its border service.
– Iran is quite a technologically advanced country. All the military experts I consulted say that Iranian UAVs are quite effective. According to an analysis conducted by American experts, Iran is far ahead of Turkey in the field of technology. It is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world.
– Iran is Russia's neighbor with a unique geostrategic position and access to the Persian Gulf, the heart of Asia, and the Indian Ocean. Of course, this is a huge acquisition. The Russian Federation thus strengthens its position in the region of the Near and Middle East. Let me remind you that in 2015, the Russian response to the events in Ukraine was the creation of a base in Syria. Of course, there are certain contradictions between Iran and Russia. And Iran has its own anti-Russian party, and the Russian Federation has an anti-Iranian party.
– At the official level, Iran always follows the principles of international law and the agreements that it signed. That is, it adheres to the principle of respecting the territorial integrity of states. Today we see some changes in his position. The fact that a shift in this direction has taken place is the success of the negotiations. There is an open political life in Iran, open polemics are being conducted in the media on various issues. In this sense, the interview of the Russian ambassador to Tehran Levan Dzhagaryan to the Shargh newspaper is indicative, which indicates that Iran is quite critical of certain aspects of relations with the Russian Federation. I read it in Persian. There are sharp questions, and the answers to them are quite sharp. The publication shows that the Iranian side is making a claim to Russia in connection with the operation of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, launched with the participation of Russian nuclear scientists. According to the Iranians, the station could generate more electricity. The ambassador was asked if the Russian Federation was playing a double game around this plant, to which he replied: “It's a lie”, and pointed out that Iran still has not paid its debts, “hundreds of millions of euros”, for the Bushehr nuclear power plant project (formerly In 2018, the size of the Iranian debt was officially 500 million euros, but part of this amount has already been paid, which Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak noted.). I do not rule out that the difficulties in resolving this issue are related to certain problems with foreign exchange transactions caused by the sanctions. But if you wish, you can resolve this problem. In the era of the USSR, for mutual non-cash payments between member countries of the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance), the so-called. “transferable ruble”, a virtual monetary unit. It might be worth looking into this practice. So far, I see that the Russian Federation is striving to create its own monetary and economic zone, where, in addition to Iran, other countries of the Persian Gulf, Egypt and even Turkey can be included in some form.
– I have discussed this topic with my Israeli colleagues more than once. There is an understanding in Israel that the creation of nuclear weapons by Iran is only a matter of time. Technically, it's not that difficult for him. But there is also a political side to the issue. Firstly, the Iranian side has never stated that the Jewish people have no right to their own state. Secondly, Iran is a theocracy in its state structure. For the Iranian side, the entire territory of the State of Israel is the Holy Land. I honestly cannot imagine that theocracy will start throwing atomic charges at the Holy Land. I know the sequence of Iranian politicians well. They say that in no case will they use atomic weapons, even if they have them. In the meantime, as is known, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has not officially given the go-ahead for its creation. So say the representatives of Iran, and they do not lie. Moreover, Iran is not interested in this at all. Around him are the countries with nuclear weapons: Russia, China, India, the United States. Iran is well aware that it will never reach their level. Starting a nuclear war just to destroy Israel… One can treat Iran and its ayatollahs badly, but it is impossible to imagine that they are clinical idiots and suicidal. Back in the 1960s, Iran signed UN documents on the non-use of weapons of mass destruction. And he never broke the rules. When Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against Iranian troops during the Iran-Iraq war, the Iranians did not respond in kind, although they had chemical weapons on their territory. Let's say Iran destroys Israel. So, what is next? What will they get, except for the war of the whole world against themselves? All their actions indicate that this whole story with anti-Israeli propaganda is more necessary for Iran in order to negotiate with the Sunni Arab states. This is the only topic they agree on. Iran has rather serious problems in interaction with the entire Arab and Sunni world. And this is a topic that they can discuss: the Palestinian problem and so on. I note that the assistance of Hamas (an Islamic terrorist organization recognized in a number of countries, ruling in the Gaza Strip and setting as its goal the destruction of the state of Israel. – “MK”) is provided by Turkey. Since Hamas was formed as a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Turkish President Erdogan supports this movement within the Sunni madhhabs (currents). Iran does not support Hamas, it is only a non-specialist who can hang such noodles on their ears. Let me remind you that in 2010, it was Turkey that organized the Freedom Flotilla convoy, which tried to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip from the sea. Nevertheless, with Turkey, Israel is all right. Erdogan openly said that in 2023 Turkey will have its own atomic bomb. But nobody cares.
– I think that after our special operation began in Ukraine, it is unlikely to appear. Because it was a joint program with Kyiv.
– Apparently, yes. But it is beneficial for someone to hush up the “Turkish” topic and promote the topic of Iran's nuclear program.
– Yes, he let it slip in Munich. At that time, the “puzzle” was formed for me, and many things became obvious. According to my sources, Erdogan received enriched plutonium to create one or more nuclear weapons. It has no storage facilities for radioactive materials. And in Ukraine, after 2014, the Americans built several dry storage facilities for long-term storage of such products. And from the same time, Ukraine stopped sending spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants to the Russian Federation for reprocessing (according to experts, this behavior indicates that the country has “nuclear ambitions.” – “MK”). In addition to storage facilities, Ukraine also had a Yuzhmash plant, which could produce carriers for nuclear charges. So it was a joint project, and it is clear that the Americans were also digging around there. After all, they built dry storage facilities in Ukraine for long-term storage of radioactive materials. Erdogan has repeatedly publicly promised his people an atomic bomb in 2023, before the elections. He wanted to become the owner of a nuclear weapon.
– Let's see. One of these storages was definitely at the Zaporozhye NPP. The fact that the Russian Federation reacted so sharply to Zelensky's statements suggests that Russian intelligence knew something.
– Erdogan, of course, is a very talented politician. With relatively weak cards, he can play a serious game at the world level. It only earns respect. In this case, there was no lie or deceit. It was a meeting in the so-called Astana format. There is no doubt that Syria was also discussed there. And it was discussed seriously. Back in June, Erdogan publicly announced that he was launching a new special operation against the Kurds in Syria. He wanted to go deeper 30 km from the Turkish-Syrian border. But then all this somehow faded away, and it was clear that someone “does not order” him to start this special operation. Prior to that, he conducted a special operation in Iraq against the PKK, but very unsuccessfully. Quite a few Turkish officers died there, and even the Turkish Defense Minister was forced to fly there to pick up the coffins. It was a rather sad story. After that, he announced a special operation in Syria, but did not start it. Apparently, in Tehran, he was politely given to understand that there was no need to start. That you need to be more humble. He must have been told why he shouldn't do it. But big politics is always big bargaining. Something had to be offered in return. I don't see anyone threatening him. He was not threatened. He was offered to abandon these plans in exchange for something. Apparently, what he was offered suited him. How he will explain this to his people, these are his problems. Turkey has a rather difficult economic situation, it is more important for him. Inflation is very high. The US cannot afford to help him now. Britain, with which he has close relations, also has no way to pull Turkey out of this economic swamp. Who can help him? Erdogan is a realist.
– Of course, the conflict between Iran and Israel is a serious issue. I think that for Iran, Israel is more of a figure of speech. But in Israel, of course, both society and politicians take this danger very seriously. Russia knows how to maintain good relations with both sides and be equidistant from them. It is necessary (this is my personal opinion) to create a certain diplomatic format to resolve this conflict. And by the way, he doesn't. Here is the Middle East quartet on Palestine, but there is Iran. And everyone says, “Iran is ready to destroy Israel tomorrow.” The Iranians assure: “No, we will not do that.” The Israelis reply, “We don't believe you.” This is an endless and pointless conversation. It is necessary to create some kind of diplomatic platform, where arbitrators will be present. Which country has the military-technical capabilities to put pressure on both sides, and good relations with both sides? Of course, Russia has no other such country. I understand that in the near future such a format can be created. Of course, many forces will act to undermine it. But everything can work out. Did Mikhail Bogdanov, the special envoy of the President of the Russian Federation for the Middle East, an Arabist, a very experienced person, manage to create a favorable situation for the rapprochement of the monarchies of the Persian Gulf with Russia? This process is underway. We see that diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been restored. Embassies are open again. So nothing is impossible.
– So they were estimated also by the American experts. That this visit would be unsuccessful was obvious even before it began. Biden planned to get Saudi Arabia to increase oil production so that its price on the world market would fall, and Russia would suffer losses. Now the Saudis produce 11 million barrels of oil per day. They planned to raise production to 12 million barrels by the new year, or even later. As a result of the negotiations, the figure of 13 million barrels was announced, this is the maximum that the Saudis are capable of. Previously, it was planned to reach this level only by 2027. Moreover, we still have to wait until August 3, when the OPEC + meeting will take place, at which its participants will develop a common position. So what did Biden achieve? Nothing. He had a task to drop oil prices. But this did not happen.
– I know the attitude of my Israeli colleagues towards Biden. Of course, he is not seen by them as a pro-Israel US president. He arrived at the wrong time. Israel is in a political crisis. What could Biden offer, given that during his presidency subsidies to Israel were cut and a request for additional supplies of American missiles was rejected? Moreover, after Tel Aviv, the US president went to Palestine, where he announced the allocation of 200 million dollars in aid to it.
– Yes. He's clearly putting pressure on him. He is trying to use Israel as an opponent to some countries in the region. If the Russian Federation acts as Leopold the cat with the call “Let's live together”, then the American side is interested in maintaining these conflicts. The old imperial principle: quarrel everyone with everyone. Of course, it is unprofitable for Israel to impose sanctions against the Russian Federation, and it is trying to refrain from doing so. Israel benefits from the settlement of relations with all its neighbors. And he seriously worked in this direction. Israel has its allies in the CIS. For example, it is known that it is dependent on Azerbaijani oil. A third of the oil it needs is supplied by Azerbaijan. The difficult relations between Tehran and Baku are also connected with this circumstance. Now there is some warming in these relations. In this regard, I have a hope that eventually the level of conflict in the region will be reduced. There is such a prospect, but there are those who are ready to prevent this.