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18 Sep, 2007 03:07

The Media Mirror - today's Russian press review

Tuesday’s Russian newspapers focus on two main issues: possible U.S. and French attacks on Iran and Andrey Lugovoy’s decision to stand in December's parliamentary elections.

IZVESTIA explores three scenarios of a possible U.S. attack on Iran: one – a full-scale ground assault, Iraq–style, with the aim of regime change and putting a stop to the nuclear program. The paper says, the cost of such an operation in money, ammunition and casualties would be huge.                     
Two: aerial and naval assault without using ground troops. The problem with this option is it doesn’t guarantee Iran would stop its nuclear programme.

Three: no war at all, just a game of Bad cop-Good cop played by France and the U.S. to impress their allies into supporting new sanctions against Iran.

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA thinks the announcements by the French Foreign Minister sound like the countdown to war with Iran.   According to the paper, some experts believe France, not the U.S., may be the first nation to strike Iran.

But the Good cop, Bad cop scenario looks more realistic.

Just in case, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Alexander Losyukov says in an interview with VREMYA NOVOSTEI: “We have contingency plans for the evacuation of our citizens from Iran.” He also adds: “I count on and hope for a peaceful solution. Bombing Iran would be a wrong step leading to catastrophic consequences.” Or a catastrophic step leading to wrong consequences.

The Russian phrase “When the Crawfish climbs a hill and gives a whistle” means that something is not very likely to happen soon. The same paper says the Iranian diplomats in Moscow use it to describe the situation with the opening of the Busher nuclear power plant. Russia has again postponed the delivery of nuclear material for it until 2008.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA quotes Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. He has just appointed Andrey Lugovoy his number two on the party list of State Duma candidates for the December's election. He says, Lugovoi is on the list because he is at the flashpoint of the struggle between Russia and its ancient adversary, England.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI quotes Alexey Mitrofanov who has recently defected from Zhirinovski’s party to Fair Russia: By accepting Lugovoy into the party, Zhirinovsky is going to alienate the whole world. He will have a short-lived boost in votes. But he’s like a man who has overdosed on Viagra to get through the night and forgot about the stroke that would follow.