Dept. of Media Criticism

You all know that my “heart bleeds for daily newspapers”:, right? It actually, figuratively does. I just phoned 9-1-1 for that heart-always-bleeding thing. Again. Figuratively. So this is tough love, right here.

April 1 editions of the _Washington Post_ indicated that “the Russians are unmoved”: by American concerns about Iran:

bq. The Russians have reached an understanding with Iran over the sale of surface-to-air missiles but said they have yet to deliver on shipments. Though the United States has pressed Russia to exert more pressure on Iran to abandon nuclear-weapons research, Moscow insists there is little more it can do, saying its nuclear dialogue with Tehran is based solely on energy production.

That would be in line with President Medvedev’s op-ed in the same paper, just “the day before”:

So, something must have changed since March 18, when the same paper was telling it the other way around:

bq. As President Obama seeks to recast relations with Russia and persuade it to help contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he must win over leaders who are deeply suspicious of U.S. intentions and who have long been reluctant to damage what they consider a strategic partnership with Iran. But the Kremlin has indicated it is willing to explore a deal with Washington, and analysts say it may be more open to new sanctions against Iran than expected.

You could probably “guess”: how that went over in these parts.

So how did the _Post_’s reporters unearth such a startling insight? This one expert guy in Washington told them.

In a meeting last week with a bipartisan commission studying U.S. policy toward Russia, President Dmitry Medvedev expressed alarm in “very graphic language” over Iran’s successful test launch of a satellite last month, linking it to Tehran’s nuclear program, said Dmitri Simes, director of the commission.

“Medvedev said it demonstrated how far-reaching Iran’s nuclear ambitions are, and that he was very concerned,” said Simes, who is also president of the Nixon Center in Washington. “He felt it was a clear challenge to both Russian and American interests and said he would like both countries to work on this challenge together.”

Nothing more heard from President Medvedev in this vein since then. Or before then.

So what do you say? Can we call this a lesson learned?

For The Record

Here’s what the “Obama-Medvedev statement”: says about Iran:

bq. While we recognize that under the NPT Iran has the right to a civilian nuclear program, Iran needs to restore confidence in its exclusively peaceful nature. We underline that Iran, as any other Non-Nuclear Weapons State-Party to the NPT, has assumed the obligation under Article II of that Treaty in relation to its non-nuclear weapon status. We call on Iran to fully implement the relevant U.N. Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors resolutions, including provision of required cooperation with the IAEA. We reiterated their commitment to pursue a comprehensive diplomatic solution, including direct diplomacy and through P5+1 negotiations, and urged Iran to seize this opportunity to address the international communitys concerns.

There’s nothing like a “nothingburger”:

“Musical bonus”: Musical, literally.

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