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Putin Throws Wrench in Iran Nuke Talks

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According to the government-owned news agency TASS the head of Rostec announced the possible missile deal on Monday. At an arms show in Abu Dhabi, Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov said a deal with Iran for the Antey-2500 missile system was on the table.

In the face of objections from Western nations, Russia had cancelled the sale to Iran of a different system, known as the S-300, in 2010 – a decision that greatly angered leaders in Tehran. The Antey-2500 is an upgraded version of the S-300, with a range of more than 150 miles. (Russia’s own military uses an even more powerful version of the Antey-2500.) The price tag on the Antey-2500, which Russia has already sold to Venezuela, is $1 billion per system.

"As far as Iran is concerned, we have offered Antey-2500 instead of S-300. No decision has been made yet," Chemezov reportedly said.

The possibility that Iran’s anti-aircraft capabilities might receive a major upgrade just as a nuclear deal that Israel already opposes is coming together is sure to generate more angst in Jerusalem and, according to some, raises questions about Russia’s good faith in the negotiations.

“It is certainly troubling that Russia is making these offers during the negotiations,” said Anna Borshchevskaya, an adjunct fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. On the question of Russia’s commitment to a deal, she added, “It ought to raise some doubts.”

Borshchevskaya said that Russia, “continues to not see Iran’s nuclear program as much of a threat as we do in the west.”

Russia has provided Iran with expert assistance in the construction of its existing nuclear facilities, and last month signed a deal to build as many as eight more.


US is considering supplying weapons to Ukraine. Putin is just returning the favor. Washington and Moscow have danced like this before.

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