With all eyes on Putin during Sochi Olympics, Russian leader builds closer ties to terror regime in Iran.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd L) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani (L) during a meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek, September 13, 2013. (REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin)

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (2nd L) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani (L) during a meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek last Fall. (REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin)

(Washington, D.C.) – In October, Forbes magazine named Russian President Vladimir Putin “the world’s most powerful person.” 

Now, with the Olympics in Sochi underway, the eyes of the world are riveted on Russia and its leader, who have invested a record $ 51 billion in creating what they hope will prove a dazzling showcase to reassert Russian power and influence.

Putin is determined to use a string of missteps by President Obama — hesitation and vacillation in the Syria crisis, the Benghazi scandal, health care rollout fiasco, sky-high budget deficits, and Mr. Obama’s sinking poll numbers, to name a few — to reposition Russia as a major world leader in hopes of eventually eclipsing American power.

“I declare the 22nd Winter Olympic Games officially open,” Putin declared to a worldwide TV and Internet audience on Friday.

A Russian news service said Putin was “raising the curtain on an Olympic Games that started as his pet project and has become the crowning moment of his third term as president,” adding that “in front of a near-capacity crowd at the 40,000-seat Fisht Olympic Stadium and millions of TV viewers worldwide, the opening show drew on Russia’s rich musical and literary heritage, with a few nods to its Soviet past.

“Tonight we are writing a new page in Olympic history — these are the first-ever Olympic Games in the new Russia,” said International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, as he called on athletes “to live together with harmony, with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason.”

Amidst these themes of global peace and harmony, however, Putin is simultaneously working hard to build closer ties with Iran, the world’s most Radical Islamic terrorist regime.

“Iran and Russia are negotiating an oil-for-goods swap worth $ 1.5 billion a month that would enable Iran to lift oil exports substantially, undermining Western sanctions that helped persuade Tehran in November to agree to a preliminary deal to curb its nuclear program,” Reuters recently reported. “Russian and Iranian sources close to the barter negotiations said final details were in discussion for a deal under which Russia would buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.”

“Good progress is being made at the moment with strong chances of success,” said a Russian source. “We are discussing the details, and the date of signing a deal depends on those details.” The Kremlin declined comment.

Other signs of intensifying Russian-Iranian ties in recent years:

Iran, meanwhile, is:

Putin is also using the Olympics to strengthen ties with other world leaders. 

The Los Angeles Times reported that “Putin used the hours before the lavish opening ceremony for the Olympic Winter Games to hold court with world leaders who did attend and project an image of the globally influential chief of a resurgent Russia. Upon arrival in Sochi, where Western journalists have focused on fears of a terrorism attack and discomforts in the hastily constructed hotels and venues, Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Putin on his staging of the prestigious competition as evidence that ‘Russia is heading toward strength and prosperity.’ Xi also hailed Russian-Chinese cooperation on Syria and Iran – two foreign policy challenges that have pitted the once-rivalrous eastern giants against the three Western countries that are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, preventing the American, British and French faction from securing sanctions on Damascus or Tehran…..Putin also received Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose crackdown on political opponents and public protest over the last year have alienated Turkey from its traditional allies in Europe and Washington. Putin seemed eager to cast Russia as an alternative diplomatic partner more respectful of Ankara’s right to decide its own domestic affairs.”

As I noted in December, “Vladmir Putin sees himself not so much as Russia’s president but as an old-time Czar for the modern age. All knowing. All powerful….Determined to expand his territory and grow his power and personal wealth. This is what makes him so dangerous.”

MORE RUSSIA AND IRAN HEADLINES:


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

25 Things President Obama is Guaranteed NOT to Mention During his State of the Union Speech

Kirk:

I bet he won’t mention any of these:

• Fast and Furious – gun-running to Mexican drug lords; investigation shut down by executive privilege.

• Benghazi – we don’t know: why the ambassador was there, who ordered military to stand down, what Obama did for 8 hours, who gave Susan Rice the video talking points, or why Hillary Clinton and Obama tried to perpetuate the lies

• IRS – used to target perceived enemies of the Obama agenda

• AP – no one held accountable for spying on the media

• James Rosen and his parents- Holder not held accountable for lying to Congress about his role in spying on a journalist and lying to a federal judge to obtain the secret warrant

• NSA data collection – massive, warrantless data collection… just in case they need it

• Clinton State Department shuts down investigation of criminal activity by employees

• James Clapper lies to congress about collecting data on American citizens

• EPA releases personal information on 80,000 farmers to environmental groups

• HHS Secretary Sebelius shakes down companies to help fund the failing ObamaCare, violating the Hatch Act

• Military members told what book they can’t read, chaplains can’t talk about God

• Lavish IRS parties at taxpayer expense

• Lavish GAO parties at taxpayer expense

• Lavish Veterans Administration parties at taxpayer expense

• Fort Hood called “workplace violence”, shooter still collecting paychecks

• Pigford – redistributing taxpayer money to minorities

• Solyndra – money pays back Obama bundlers, bankruptcy held until after the 2010 election

• Ex-EPA chief Lisa Jackson uses fake email account for government business, other suspected

• New Black Panthers not prosecuted by Holder

• Obama doesn’t get Congressional approval before attacking Libya

• Executive order by Obama to legalize “Dreamers”

• Obama decides what laws will be enforced – Defense of Marriage Act, legalizing illegals

• NLRB board appointment ruled unconstitutional but they are still working

• Gibson Guitars – illegal seizure of the company’s private property

• EPA using drones to spy on farmers

• John Corzine – MF Global not prosecuted for mismanagement of investor funds and large losses

For that matter – where are the prosecutions for Bill Clinton’s Mortgage Meltdown?

Doug Ross @ Journal