Russia’s Foreign Ministry has warned that as tit-for-tat diplomatic and economic moves build up, at some point they may revise their policy toward Iranian nuclear talks to “raise the stakes.”
“We wouldn’t like to use these talks as an element of the game of raising the stakes,” noted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, adding “if they force us into that, we will take retaliatory measures here as well.”
Ryabkov didn’t make it clear what that might mean in practical terms for Russia’s position on P5+1 talks with Iran, but given their long-standing reservation toward US calls for sanctions against Iran one could presume it would include more overtly backing Iran’s civilian nuclear program.
Russia has also been in talks on a major new trade deal with Iran since the P5+1 interim deal, which the US contends violates international law. Russia, with its veto at the UN Security Council, could likely thumb their nose at the US on this too if they need to, and start picking up trade with Iran in a big way.