Trend commentator: Russia becomes Iran's ally again
Trend Persian Desk Head Dalga Khatinoglu
The Russian President's decree, banning the transfer of air defense systems S-300, armored vehicles, combat aircrafts, helicopters and ships to Iran, does not mean that official Moscow carries out strategic cooperation with the West and turns its back on Iran.
Medvedev's decree was adopted under the sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council against Iran (resolution 1929). Russia, as a permanent member of the organization, voted for this resolution.
After the decree, signed by Russian President Medvedev, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, on a visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, said in his interview with media that Medvedev's decree does not mean the end of military cooperation between Russia and Iran.
Earlier, a member of the public council of the Russian Ministry of Defence Igor Krochenko said in an interview with RIA Novosti that the cessation of military cooperation between Russia and Iran will cause Moscow damage at $13 billion. This indicates that the interview on the continuation of military cooperation with Iran, given by Ryabkov in New York, is based on a real basis.
Factor of military cooperation between Russia and the West
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak during his visit to Moscow on September 6, signed a long-term contract on military-technical cooperation with his Russian counterpart. According to the contract signed in 2009 between the two countries, Israel supplied Russia with 12 unmanned aircrafts. According to a new contract, the agreement was signed to supply Russia with 24 other unmanned aircrafts and build a joint plant for the production of unmanned aircrafts.
Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov's visit to the United States and the contract on cooperation in the modernization of military equipment, signed with the Pentagon two weeks after Russia and Israel signed the contract on military cooperation, show that Russia pays particular attention to modernize its military equipment.
Russian military expenditures account for 3.5 percent of total expenditures on armaments in the world.
Earlier, Russia signed an agreement with France to modernize the Navy ships and buy the aircraft carrier "Mistral" from Paris.
Despite these agreements, the United States oppose military cooperation between Russia and the West. According to the Americans, the fact that Russia mastered Western military technologies contradicts the U.S. interests. Russia said that the proximity between NATO and Eastern Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia is a serious threat for it.
Iran is isolated from the West for its nuclear program. Russia may act on the market of this country without fear of competition.
Iran and Russia signed a contract to establish a "road map" in the oil and gas sphere three months ago. Russia condemns the use of additional sanctions by U.S. and Europe against Iran, which were unforeseen by the UN Security Council.
After Russia sent an archive of Iran's nuclear program to the UN Security Council in 2006, this country gave Iran 29 Tor M1 missiles. Last month it officially launched the atomic power plant in Bushehr, Iran.
Thus, the only factor, bringing together Russia and the West, is an attempt for Iran to prevent enrichment of uranium and eliminate potential threats to produce nuclear weapons by this country.
Negative aspects of Russia-Iran relations
The trade turnover between Iran and Russia amounted to $3.7 billion in 2008 (excluding the military sphere). The quantity of goods imported by Iran from Russia, hit 6 percent of the total imported goods the same year. The trade turnover between the countries reduced by 18 percent and amounted to $3 billion in 2009.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that he would appeal to international courts to get reparations for the damage made to Iran during the World War II, when the Soviet troops occupied the northern part of Iran. On the other hand, Iran refused from supplying 1,200 kg of 3.5-percent enriched uranium to Russia in exchange for 20-percent enriched uranium in October last year. Iran stated in May 2009 that he would supply uranium to Turkey for the exchange. It is a measure of distrust of Iran to Russia.
In any case, Russia can not be a strategic partner of the West. It can not fully cooperate with Iran, ignoring the position of the international community.