Tensions between Iran and the U.S. could escalate towards potential war, but both Russia and China are opposed to Western intervention in Iran.
As the U.S. takes an increasingly aggressive position against Iran, Iranian Press TV reported that Russia has denounced the U.S. threats against the Islamic Republic as "a very dangerous scenario."
Determined in its own path to develop nuclear power, Iran is defiant in the face of sanctions, maintaining its right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Pursuing further sanctions, the U.S. lacks the support of Russia and China in it's policy towards Iran.
Vitaly Churkin, Russia's Ambassador to the U.N. told Russia Today that a peaceful resolution must be sought, saying Russia does not “accept the proposition that the best way to prevent a war is to start a war.” He added "Our consistent stand, our effort, is going to be targeted at doing whatever we can in order to prevent this scenario of regional catastrophe being carried out in 2012.” According to the Telegraph Churkin said that having studied the recent International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) report on Iran’s research and development activities it became "clear that the intention was to use it for some psychological and political gain rather than to deal seriously with the situation in Iran.” He added that increased sanctions against Iran were not supported by Russia, explaining "As a matter of principle, we think that this is wrong”.
Russia is not alone amongst global powers in its reluctance to isolate Iran, as China shares its concerns. A recent editorial in the Chinese Global Times stated "In Iran's case, it is understandable the EU imposes sanctions against Iran. But, China has no obligation to mess up the situation especially as the EU and the US try to take the opportunity to overthrow Iran for their own interests."
According to the Diplomat the Chinese language version of the Global Times then took an even stricter line against Western intervention in Iran "arguing that Iran is vitally important to the survival of China and Russia, and that Tehran can say “no” to the United States and help block American domination of the Middle East."