China-Russia-Iran. Will China and Russia rue the day? Will they ultimately be able to contain the jihad that already nips at them, and which is likely only to grow stronger in both countries — abetted by Iran in Russia?
From the Telegraph, with thanks to Interested:
Iran’s hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, arrived in China last night for a summit of Asian states and Russia that Washington fears is forming a new anti-western alliance.
Mr Ahmadinejad will seek support for his country’s nuclear programme, fuelling US concern that Iran is being protected by its growing friendship with Russia and China, who both sit on the UN Security Council.
He is also believed to be pushing to join the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, which is holding its annual summit in the city today and tomorrow.
The SCO, under the leadership of China and Russia, is playing an ever-greater role in the jostling for power in Central Asia. The dictatorial nature of some of its membership, which also includes the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, has provoked descriptions of it as an anti-American alliance of despots.
Both China and Russia deny this, and China’s vice-foreign minister, Li Hui, this week ruled out early accession by Iran. But Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, said in a newspaper article: “The SCO is not a closed and exclusive club whose lines of demarcation have been clearly drawn.”
Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, has expressed concern about the summit, and the presence of President Ahmadinejad as an official observer.
“It strikes me as strange that one would want to bring into an organisation that says it’s against terrorism. . . one of the leading terrorist nations in the world,” he said.