The "Unraveling Relationship" between Russia and Iran

(BBC News) Pavel Felgenhauer - Russia and Iran seemed to be good friends, but in recent weeks the relationship has unraveled. Last month, Moscow supported UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. Last week, President Dmitry Medvedev even publicly questioned the Iranian program which is moving into a position that may allow Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons. Previously, Russian officials maintained that there was no proof that Iran was developing nuclear weapons. In December 2005, Russia agreed to sell Iran long-range S-300 anti-aircraft missiles - 40 to 60 launchers with four missile tubes each, radars, and control stations, worth some $1 billion. Last month, Moscow announced that the S-300 deal is forbidden by the new UN sanctions. An additional factor that may further influence the decision-making in Moscow is Saudi Arabia's offer to buy more than $2 billion worth of Russian weapons (helicopters, armor, anti-aircraft missiles) on condition that Russia does not sell Iran S-300 missiles, and stops supporting it in the UN.

2010-07-26 08:56:04

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