What is peculiar about the choice that the Kremlin is contemplating these days is that in essence it is not at all about Iran.
Putin was emboldened to disparage Washington by the perception that “Comrade Wolf” had walked into a deadly trap in Iraq, but it was not his intention at all to launch a new Cold War-type confrontation.
Putin’s dream of shielding his kakistocracy (by which the Greeks meant the rule of the least qualified and most unprincipled citizens) by a “stone wall” of international law, as spelled in Munich, comes into conflict with the desire to play a greater international role. The safest option appears to be ElBaradei’s proposal for a “time out” and new negotiation, but Putin might take a gamble of provoking Washington into unilateral military action. If nothing else, it would drive up oil prices.