Moscow Should Rethink Its Iran Policy

(Moscow Times-Russia) Ilan Berman - In recent days, Moscow has publicly rejected the new IAEA findings and argued for renewed diplomacy in response to Iran's nuclear transgressions. This obstructionism is unfortunate, but understandable. The strategic relationship between Moscow and Tehran includes vibrant defense and industrial trade, including nuclear technology and assistance from Russia; a quiet understanding that Iran will steer clear of spreading its brand of radical Islam in Russia's turbulent southern regions; and a shared opposition to a range of U.S. foreign policy efforts. Russia's arms sector, which two decades ago was on the verge of collapse, is now booming, thanks in large part to Iran. In addition, Iran's nuclear program has proven to be very good for Russian business as Russia has become the world's leading exporter of nuclear technology. But Iran's nuclear advances have been mirrored by an increasingly aggressive, revisionist foreign policy line. Armed with nuclear weapons, an emboldened Iran may seek to revise regional arrangements in its favor at the expense of Moscow. The writer is vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council.

2011-11-25 00:00:00

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