Moscow, unlike Washington, knows how to solve problems of Tehran and Pyongyang
This Sunday, Donald Trump connected two painful points on the world map with a fuzzy line. He accused Iran of cooperating with the DPRK, however, did not disclose the details of this cooperation. Trump wrote on Twitter: "Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel. They are also working with North Korea." Meanwhile, there is no clear policy in Washington for the solution of both the Iranian and North Korean problems. But Moscow has a solution.
"The arbiter for assessing whether Iran complies with the deal or not is not Moscow or Washington, but the International Atomic Energy Agency. The agency's conclusion on Iran's compliance with the JCPOA is quite unambiguous. If the US does not like something in this agreement, this is not an excuse for derailing it, because no one is able to offer anything better than this agreement. And it will be a very bad example for North Korea. It will show Pyongyang that attempts to reach an agreement can in fact easily be thwarted by key parties to the agreements without any reason," a member of the Russian Foreign Minister's Collegium, the head of the Foreign Ministry’s Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, Mikhail Ulyanov, explained.
He recalled that Pyongyang already has one negative example: "Muammar Gaddafi once abandoned weapons of mass destruction programmes, but in a few years there was not just an uprising inside the country, but also foreign military intervention. His death was terrible. Such examples do not encourage North Korea to seek compromises at all. If what we are talking about happens to Iran, it will be a real blow and not only on the North Korean situation, it will be a huge minus for the continuation of diplomatic efforts with the aim of solving existing problems".
Ulyanov also recalled that the JCPOA was the result of very complex and lengthy negotiations: "There were solid compromises that were acceptable in their totality for all participants. If they start repair something in the interests of one of the parties, then the other side will naturally express its preferences, its proposals for some amendments. It would be a road that will take us nowhere. This will sharply aggravate the situation in the region and in international relations. We are neighbors with Iran, for us this development of the situation is unacceptable. If one of the JCPOA participants has real grounds to believe that one of the parties does not comply with the agreement, then the plan of action prescribes detailed, rather complicated procedures for such a case. Consultations should begin that will last for more than a month before the mechanism of the UN Security Council will be involved. But we do not see the reasons for using this procedure today. "
As for the North Korean problem, according to the Russian diplomat, it does not have a military solution: "We have a road map with the Chinese, which was published in the IAEA in July this year. It has everything. As a first step, we propose to reduce tension concerning the problem through the exercise of mutual restraint. North Korea stops testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and the United States and South Korea refrain from carrying out large-scale maneuvers near the territory of the DPRK. Maneuvers, which provoke a further increase in tension and Pyongyang's not very well-considered response actions. Such work is being done by us. It is not public, but we are trying to normalize the situation".
Michali Ulyanov believes that sanctions against Pyongyang are ineffective: "I worked extensively on sanctions in the 1990s. At that time, the strictest sanctions were imposed on the former Yugoslavia and Iraq. These regimes did not bring any benefits, but entailed completely unacceptable humanitarian suffering for millions of people and caused serious damage to their neighbors. Especially the neighbors of Yugoslavia, when the navigation on the Danube was blocked for several years, and contracts were broken. These countries did not receive any compensation. Therefore, sanctions are not a panacea. Our American partners rely solely on methods of pressure, primarily sanctions. This means that they signify their own weakness and inability to think of anything better in this difficult situation, when creative, non-ordinary solutions are required. The sanction track has already been almost exhausted. The sanctions regime against North Korea came close to the situation with the former Yugoslavia and Iraq before the launch of the oil-for-food program. Moving further along this path is absolutely futile. New resolutions are being adopted, being followed by new tests in response - this is a vicious circle, It is high time to break it".