By Orlando Radice
November 15, 2011
China may be wavering in its support of “Basher” Assad, but Russia is hanging on in there.
Syria is a crucial stepping stone in Iran’s axis of influence to the west and Iran would view Russian pressure on Assad as a direct affront to its imperial ambitions.
Russia, for its part, does not want a fallout with a country that, once nuclear-ready, could act as a counterbalance to US geostrategic dominance – or, for that matter, has vast gas and oil reserves that await exploitation with the help of Russian energy firms.
China on the other hand may be realising that a nuclear-armed Iran may not exactly be in its interests, given that Saudi Arabia - which is terrified of what Ahmadinejad might do next - supplies it considerably more oil than Iran.
But here’s the icing on the cake: China has just awarded Putin its ‘Confucious’ peace prize. Good going: after two wars in Chechnya, one conflict in South Ossetia and support for a genocidal regime, the KBG man gets a gong from another country that supports said genocidal regime. Talk about fearful symmetry.