File photo: Russian S-300 long-range SAM systems during a past parade rehearsal at Red Square
[AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev]
[AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev]
A recap of significant Russo-Iranian developments that have flurried the 13APR15 news cycle:
According to Reuters:
The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin signed a decree ending a self-imposed ban on delivering the S-300 anti-missile rocket system to Iran, removing a major irritant between the two after Moscow canceled a corresponding contract in 2010 under pressure from the West.
A senior government official said separately that Russia has started supplying grain, equipment and construction materials to Iran in exchange for crude oil under a barter deal.According to Press TV:
Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said Russia’s decision to lift the ban indicates the political will of the two countries’ officials to improve cooperation in all fields.According to YJC:
Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan received an official invitation from Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to speak at the International Security Conference to be held in Moscow on April 16 and 17, 2015.According to YJC:
IRIN Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani met with Russia’s Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev in Moscow. Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council referred to Iran-Russia collaboration efforts.
Shamkhani stated: "The principled policy of the two countries in enhancing regional cooperation and balancing the transferable capacities in the diverse political, economic and security spheres has had a decisive role in the management of security crises across the region."M.K. Bhadrakumar take on these Russo-Iranian developments, from Asia Times Online:
The Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision today to sign the presidential decree to forthwith supply S-300 missiles to Iran and the reported commencement of the $20 billion oil-for-goods swap deal between Russia and Iran effectively signifies the end of the sanctions regime against Iran. Putin has “liberated” Iran from the curse of sanctions. The Kremlin de facto opened the floodgates for Iran’s integration as a full-fledged member of the international community.
Indeed, the ramifications of today’s development, signifying the coming into being of a Russo-Iranian strategic axis, are going to be profound on several theatres of international security in a wide arc stretching from Central Asia through the Caucasus and the Caspian to the Middle East proper. Simply put, the US is staring at a catastrophic setback in its regional policies on several fronts. Without doubt, Iran is a pivotal state and it is a game changer for Russian policies to have such a regional power on its side as a close ally.
Conceivably, Moscow and Beijing are coordinating their moves on Iran. The Chinese President Xi Jinping is due to pay a visit to Iran at an early date and Chinese officials had openly hinted that there could be some “dramatic” announcements during the visit.
For sure, Iran has taken a great leap forward toward induction into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.COMMENTARY: It has become increasingly evident that Iran is benefitting from tensions between the United States and Russia, over developments at Ukraine.
The Iran nuclear negotiating team at Lausanne displayed an unusual sense of confidence, going so far as to remain steadfast before an impending deadline. Perhaps this confidence was provided by Russian assurances. Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett have described the Iranians as "not putting all their eggs in the American basket," with regards to nuclear negotiating.
In addition to today's announcement by the Kremlin that it is prepared to deliver the S-300 long-range SAM system to Iran (with some sources claiming an "upgraded variant"), Russia also announced its first export sale of the S-400 Triumf mobile SAM system to China.
Of special interest for 14APR15 will be whether or not Russia vetoes the impending UNSC resolution on the Yemen conflict; a resolution which effectively supports the Saudi-led coalition in the war against Ansarullah and Pro-Saleh forces. Amid the current flurry of diplomatic activity observed between Iran and Russia, were the Russians to veto the resolution it may follow what would appear to be Foreign Minister Zarif's successful lobbying effort last week in Pakistan, where the Pakistani parliament elected to remain neutral during the Yemen conflict.