Iran and Russia Ink New Defense Treaty

Iranian and Russian officials inked a new cooperation deal this past Tuesday. The agreement has a two-tier focus, the first of which is military, whilst the other is technological. The military aspect was signed off on by the two countries’ respective defense ministers, and was seemingly engineered to counter a perceived threat posed by the United States. The two sides issued a joint statement condemning “expansionist intervention and green of the United States,” and agreed to work together to counter it. The agreement made brief mention of the issue of an ongoing dispute between Russia and Iran over the delivery of a missile defense system.

In 2007, Russia committed to deliver Iran a sophisticated S-300 missile system, but has failed to do so, provoking a still-unresolved Iranian lawsuit with an international court in Geneva. Details of defense cooperation were predictably few, though it is known that Iran recently contracted a Russian firm to build two new nuclear reactors onto its Bushehr power plant. Russia has also proven to be a key facilitator in the Iranian nuclear negotiation. Tehran has tentatively agreed to ship all slightly enriched uranium (SEU) to Moscow for conversion into fuel rods should a deal be reached in Vienna.

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